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Moody’s expects stronger reinsurance profitability in 2019 - Bahrain’s economy achieves 2.73% Growth in Q1 2019 - S&P turns stable on Lloyd’s - UAE - RSA provides discounts to DEWA customers for home ins. - EgyptAir launches insurance policy tender for assets - Saudi Arabia - Foreign investment more than doubled in 2018 - Egypt - 'Seamless North Africa 2019' to discuss fintech trends - FDI inflows to Bahrain rise 6% to $1.5bln - Bahrain – InsurByte tackles insurtech trends - Saudi Arabia - Malath, ANB extend insurance deal - Citi MENA Fintech Challenge launched - ArabNet Beirut conference celebrates 10 years - Dubai - DIFC issues new insolvency law - Moody’s expecting stronger reinsurance sector profitability in 2019 - UK insurer Legal & General picks Amazon for blockchain deal - Dubai - AREA 2071 hosts 20 global startups worth AED42.2 m - Saudi Arabia - Medical insurance must for family visa extension - UAE - Medical Liability Law will reduce medical errors - Egypt – EGP 18.1 B ins. sector premiums in 4 months - Fintech set to expand in Mideast, Africa, says S&P - FinTech has power to disrupt global finance says IMF’s Lagarde - China mulls raising caps in equity investment for insurers - Fintech Startups in Lebanon: Financing the Future - Health Dubai: AED 20,000 fine for delayed ins. 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Act after Eid break - Dubai car rental agency to get Dh115,000 compensation - Bahrain National Holding acquires major stake in Health 360 - Bahrain - BBK launches a management program in fintech - Misr Ins. Holding targets EGP 4.2bn profit in FY19/20 - UAE - Etihad Credit Ins. and Dhaman partner to support growth - Dubai - DFM to organise international investor roadshow in New York - Egypt - Fawry to acquire EME International’s fintech division - UAE - Profits of 28 insurers at AED 591.65 m in Q1 - Egypt – Ins. sector has the highest average wage - Bahrain is among first countries to adopt fintech - Arabnet Beirut celebrates 10 years of technology - UAE - ADNIC partners with FAB through ‘payit’ option - ‘Game of Thrones’ ins. to reimburse fans who can prove spoilers - China allows insurers to use credit derivatives - ECI signs MoU with ADCB to support UAE businesses - Digital: Morocco in force at Vivatech Paris - Bitcoin price crashed by nearly 20% in minutes - Saudi non-oil growth to top 2.9% this year - Dubai – Overseas treatment through prepaid card - Generali posts solid growth and profits in Q1 results - Kuwait - MPs approve insurance law - Gulf Ins. 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Policy - SoftBank to invest $1bn in fintech firm Wirecard - Bahraini start-ups prospering thanks to Al Waha - Kuwait Finance House wins Fintech award - Samsung Developing its own Blockchain system - UAE - Mubadala was Awarded Anti-Bribery ISO certification - Saudi Arabia - 20 boxes in the Bold investment initiative - UAE - DIFC FinTech Hive launches career mentorship program - Kuwait - Six insurance companies suspended - First Bahrain Insurance Hackathon - Digital transformation of Middle East financial services is accelerating - KSA - Tawuniya to obtain qualitative leap in health practice - KSA - SAMA nods to Arabia Insurance’s capital raise - Saudi Arabia launches $3 bln package to support private sector - Etihad Credit ins. teams up with Sharjah Chamber - Development of driverless vehicle blockchain tech with IoT Firm - China - Blockchain-Enabled Notary Opens Office - South Korea - Hospital to create Blockchain Data Management - Sharjah Ins. to pay 7 fils/shr dividends for FY18 - UAE - Insurance House issues perpetual bonds - Egypt bourse unveils new insurance policy tender - Bahrain Kuwait Ins.: Profit at BD794,000 in Q1 - Arab Federation of Exchanges conference tackles SMEs - Dubai's economic growth will accelerate in 2019 and 2020 - World Bank to invest $200 million in Egyptian startups - Chile – New Cryptocurrency & Fintech Regulations - 60% of organizations trapped in a digital deadlock - Bahrain - SADAD launches Save Your Card Feature in Mobile App - Fintech: China's Wonder News opens $50m office in Bahrain - Abu Dhabi National Ins. Customer Service Excellence Recognised - 99% of UAE execs say innovation has accelerated - 94 Emiratis complete Artificial Intelligence program in UK - UAE ranks 6th in health and wellness index - Central Bank of Bahrain issues draft rules on Ins. Aggregators - Kuwait - Regulator tightens control over insurance sector - China Life insurance premiums grow over 11% - Bahrain set to host InsurByte conference in June - Misr Ins. to cover judges overseeing constitutional referendum - UAE adopts National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031 - World Bank: $25B for digital transformation in Africa - Telegram’s TON Partners with Wirecard to develop fintech - The Reserve Bank of India excludes cryptocurrency projects - Smart Dubai and Microsoft to accelerate digital transformation - Kuwait - Wethaq Ins. receives $6.48m from real estate fund - 2,000 tycoons move to UAE in 2018 - Saudi Arabia ranks second in global investment destination list - Report Shows Major Security Holes in Banking Apps - Kuwait - Regulator might suspend up to 12 insurers - KSA - Financial Sector Conference fulfills 2030 Vision - Misr Ins. posts $318.7 mln premiums in H1-FY2018/19 - Dubai – Global leaders to meet at Artificial Intelligence Summit - UAE Takaful Companies Catching Up with Conventional Peers - KSA - 3.2m Saudis, 8.1m expats enjoy health ins. - Oman – Regulator adopts XBRL for financials of listed firms - Bahrain launches fintech talent programme - Bahrain - Cigna Life Ins. receives a License from regulator - Saudi financial conference to attract hundreds of experts - ‘Bone-breaking’ ins. fraud gang busted in Italy - Jordan- Aqaba conference on marine ins. kicks off - Oman- Health insurance leading the market - Kuwait - Rising health insurance premiums - Egypt's insurance firms see boost in capital - Egypt: IFC launches support program for fintechs - Mashreq bank joins Startupbootcamp FinTech Dubai - China lays down national standards for ins. Industry - Lebanon - Calls for cooperation to enhance cybersecurity - Egypt to launch 8 investment areas, free zones in 2018 - Bahrain - Royal Decree Stipulates formation of Health Ins. Fund - Kuwait – Premiums of Wethaq Takaful grow by 16% in 2018 - IMF’s Lagarde says fintech will shake the system - Calls to establish digital economy body at Arab League - Oman - New health ins. initiative for house helps - Egypt - New health ins. provides coverage for all citizens - Saudi Arabia – Significant decrease in ins. profits in 2018 - DIFC launches roadmap for fintechs entering MEA - AAOIFI appoints new Secretary General - Egypt - AXA signs bancassurance deal with Ahli United Bank - GCC FinTech maturing and driving innovation - Bitcoin hits milestone with its 400,000,000th transaction - Saudi Arabia - 47% of vehicle ins. fraud due to damage mismatches - Abu Dhabi Dept. of Health: Health facilities to provide bills - Dubai - Seamless Middle East 2019 to tackle fintech - Egypt - Insurers pay EGP 2.5 B compensation in 2 months - UAE - 40% off on treatments not covered by insurance - Kuwait- MoH to form panel over 'amendment' of health Ins. - Blockchain Ins. Initiative B3i Expands Its Group of Investors - What UAE people claim for the most on travel ins. - UAE first country regionally in fintech - 100 Arab Start-ups Shaping the 4th Industrial Revolution - World Bank: Vision 2030 Diversified Saudi Income Sources - Investments to UAE expected to rise by 20% in 2019 - Mideast ‘biggest target’ of cybercrime - Lebanon – Oil and Gas summit emphasizes insurance role - MENA - Cyber threats beyond traditional attacks - Fintech Cairo: Fostering Innovation in Financial Inclusion - Moody’s: Takaful demand spurs higher premiums - Kuwait - Health Ins. fees from Jan 2020 to be KD 130 - Bahrain - FinTech Hackathon for Sustainability - Smart Dubai Office endorses du’s Blockchain Platform - UAE – Future Blockchain Summit - UAE - Coursera and INSEAD launch Blockchain Specialization - Dubai - DIFC FinTech Hive accepts applications - Ajman government to enact 'Smart Payment System' - UAE - Takaful premiums reached AED 3.7 billion in 2018 - GCC - Car ins. prices continue to decline in 2019 - Solidarity Bahrain launches the first Ins. Hackathon - UAE - SALAMA Islamic Arab ins. co. reports strong growth - 16 Saudi ins. firms log millions in losses in 2018 - UAE - Community contributions of 21 insurers at AED 2.95 million - Oman - Details of mandatory health ins. Revealed - Gulf Insurance to distribute 36% of par value as dividend - UK Insurers pay £1 M each day for vehicle thefts - UK - AM Best: negative outlook for 2019 non-life ins. - UAE - Among world's top 10 most positive on economy - Lebanon – Government targets transition to a digital economy - Saudi Arabia - Foreign entrants to boost ins. Market - KSA - Najm plays key role in developing ins. Technologically - China - Joint Venture to develop pension ins. - Two Bahraini women join top 100 fintech list
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MicroTakaful - Transforming People’s Livelihoods

The Takaful sector is growing fast as an emerging, promising, and high potential market compared to conventional insurance in different countries of the world, including Islamic and non-Islamic countries.

The promising global Takaful business is expected to reach more than USD 50 billion by year 20201,

according to a UAE academic report, which represents a drastic growth compared to the current global figures estimated at USD 25 billion in year 2015 by Ernst & Young. Takaful is primarily concerned with around 23% of the world population, which is considered as Muslim, and is meant to overcome the cultural barriers to the development of insurance among Muslim populations.

However, the Takaful sector has been focusing on the middle to high income groups, with a large figure of the world’s poors still missing out on its benefits

and inadequately serviced by both the private insurance market and Takaful because, simply, their coverage is unaffordable, inaccessible, or even unavailable altogether. As a natural consequence, Takaful is missing large socio-economic categories.

 In fact, in a world where 1 billion persons live in extreme poverty with less than USD 1.25 a day, the

Muslim populations are concerned with widespread financial exclusion, most particularly in Asian and African countries.

These unmet needs of low income persons include a variety of financial services including credit, savings, insurance, asset accumulation and money transfer.

Therefore, MicroTakaful will be made specifically available for sections of the population not eligible for Takaful,

given a range of parameters and factors such as income, occupation, health, etc or logistical underwriting and financial considerations. By doing so, MicroTakaful enables financial inclusion.

The non-poor confront essentially the same risks (death, illness or injury, loss of property and natural disaster) faced by the poor, but they have access to formal insurance or Takaful schemes,

bearing in mind that the impact of these risks is less severe to them. However, the significant majority of people living in poverty have very limited or absolutely no access to basic financial services including insurance or Takaful. Without access to formal insurance or Takaful schemes, most poor people manage risk with their own means by using informal mechanism “selling assets, making out/off pocket payment or borrowing”. This could leave the poor even more vulnerable to future risks. This is the essence of the problem microinsurance and microTakaful both try to resolve. Thus, microtakaful and microinsurance work as an effective tool for poverty alleviation.

Numerous international and Arab examples can be named as MicroTakaful products.

A simple example can be given in Bangladesh, where a company recently launched a group MicroTakaful products in addition to its existing three individual saving linked products. The product is unique in that it offers double the sum assured on death, contributes towards funeral costs and provides a monthly income to a nominee. In Sudan,

Shiekan company is working with the central bank of Sudan to provide low-income farmers with affordable insurance coverage,


while Takaful Pakistan is one of the operators in Pakistan who are providing microTakaful health products in partnership with a micro finance institution.

We can also see the development of MicroTakaful in countries with a sizeable or majority non-muslim population like Aman Takaful in Sri Lanka,

which has a partnership with Muslim aid microfinance programme to provide affordable coverage for credit life, hospitalization and medical charges. In addition, there are companies that provide death and disability cover for low income earners.

 The Arab world started offering similar products. In Jordan, independent microfinance institutions are offering financial services and insurance products like health and medical hospitalization for women with low income, while the Takaful Emirates Islamic Insurance is offering the “Sehat Plan”  which was especially created for lower income workers in the UAE with premium as low as around USD 139. This plan covers risks of injury and illness and protects the workers if certain unforeseen   circumstances occur. The plan is bundled with life and disability benefits and is designed for the lower income work force in the UAE. Warba Insurance Company – Kuwait is offering a product aimed at individuals who cannot afford standard life term policies. This product covers death and disability and provides compensation in case of death due to accident, but also covers seven kinds of disabilities and expenses for transferring the remains of the dead to their home country.

As seen in the preceding examples, there is a wide range of microtakaful providers. Thus,

the document jointly issued by the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors in November 2015, under the title “Issues in regulation and supervison of MicroTakaful”, is an attempt to set some commonly agreed standards

for a sound microtakaful industry. However, the formal definition of MicroTakaful according to IFSB makes it clear that MicroTakaful is the Islamic counterpart of Microinsurance where the group of participants agree to join together under Tabarru’ (donation), Taawun (mutual assistance) and Prohibition of Riba (usury).

Structurally, the document mentions the Wakala model (managing in exchange to a fee) and Cooperative models, which are more commonly used. It also addresses the Wakalah-Mudarabah (managing and risk-sharing in exchange to a fee) and the Wakalah-Waqf (managing for a fee and religious endowment) models.

In general, MicroTakaful tends to be less regulated than Takaful as it moves closer to the informal and rural sectors, as well as remote regions,

noting however that the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority has recently issued microinsurance regulations.

 Finally, MicroTakaful products have to be successfully conceived, designed, marketed, distributed and served with a focus customers underserved by regular Takaful or Insurance.

Similarily to Takaful, the microTakaful model is still being tested, modeled and re-examined and will have different practices per country and region.


 MicroTakaful will have to follow closely the best practices of microinsurance, and will also have to meet the same standards as Takaful in eliminating Maysir (gambling), Gharar (uncertainty) and Riba (usury) on a sustainable business basis.


1 Takaful: Global Challenges To Growth, Performance & Governance, UAE joint report
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