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Wed 11 Apr 2007 06:01 PM

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Takaful set for huge KSA growth

Industry experts see huge potential for the Islamic life insurance industry in Saudi Arabia.

The Middle East is set to see enormous growth in the Islamic life insurance market in the coming years, experts have predicted.

The current low take-up rates in the region for all insurance products are likely to increase dramatically as families become more aware of the products that are available on the market, delegates at the World Takaful Conference in Dubai were told this week.

Sameer Abdi, executive manager, Islamic financial services group, Ernst & Young Bahrain, said: "Individual consumers in this part of the world are still not being engaged with life products, and that's the same for conventional insurance and takaful."

Mohamed Muqeem, senior manager, global takaful operations, HSBC Amanah, agreed, telling the audience: "The potential that lies in takaful has not been exploited."

However, positive developments are expected soon, particularly in Saudi Arabia, where insurers see a great deal of potential.

Dawood Yousef Taylor, assistant general manager and head of takaful ta'awuni, Bank Aljazira, said: "Family takaful is going to see phenomenal growth. We will see huge growth in the life takaful business in Saudi in the coming years."

The predicted growth in the takaful industry was also expected to drive increased business in the retakaful, or Islamic reinsurance, industry, which has been slow to take off.

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