Takaful market could grow to $10bn

The Islamic insurance sector is booming as Salama, its biggest player, announces record profits.
Takaful market could grow to $10bn
By Andrew White
Thu 01 Feb 2007 04:43 PM

The world's largest Islamic insurance (or 'takaful') operator, Salama, has said that it expects the sector to be worth US$10bn in five years' time, as it annouced record profits for 2006.

In a disclosure statement submitted to the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), the Saudi company recorded an AED181m profit last year, with achieved profits up 65% on 2005.

"Our company has presented a distinguished performance since its shares were listed for trade on the Dubai stock exchange one year ago," said Sheikh Khalid Bin Sagr al-Nahayan, Chairman of Salama.

"The remarkable success was not limited only to the launch of the first IPO, but we have also a 96% majority shareholding in the Takaful & Retakaful International Investment Company of Bahrain, and the total equity of BEST Re, the largest re-takaful [reinsurance] company in the world.

"These steps have contributed to expanding our geographic presence to include North Africa, especially Egypt, Algeria, Senegal and Tunisia and last but not least Saudi Arabia, where the IPO for [Salama subsidiary] Saudi IAIC is expected during next month."

Salama expects substantial growth during the next five years in the global takaful and re-takaful industry which, currently, is valued at US$1.7bn. The firm expects the sector to reach US$7.5bn to US$10bn, making it one of the fastest growing within the financial services industry.

Salama was listed on the Dubai stock exchange in September last year, which allowed the raising of the company's paid capital to AED1bn. Salama now includes under its umbrella six takaful companies that provide their services in 70 countries around the globe, through Tunisia-based BEST Re - the largest re-takaful company in the Islamic world. Salama acquired full ownership of BEST Re, whose paid capital is US$100m, at the beginning of 2006.

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