Arab Reinsurance Company: a new dimension
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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. Approval - China's ins. sector runs smoothly with risks controllable - UAE – Need for compulsory fire insurance - Egypt – Agricultural ins. contract to cover natural risks - Egyptian Football Association gets ins. for Africa Cup of Nations - Egypt – Insurers pay 25% of revenues as admin expenses - Aviva to cut 1,800 jobs in expense saving push - Willis Towers Watson unveils new initiatives to fuel growth - Liberalisation in Myanmar a boon to insurers - Global reinsurance pricing not hard, but firming - June 1 rates expected to be up 10% – 30% for loss-affected accounts - Rate increases unlikely to stick without above-average losses - China's pet insurance market sees bright future - State Farm, USAA join forces to test blockchain solution - Saudi central bank grants licences to 14 fintech firms - Mastercard Partners With Bahrain FinTech Bay - SABIC renews long-standing partnership with Bupa Arabia - Burn-Out is a chronic condition according to WHO - Morocco - Marsh in the capital of Beassur - Belgium - 40% increase in the cost of fire and theft ins. - Egypt’s first FinTech accelerator promotes 10 startups - A.M.Best: Jordan ins. market remains highly competitive - Mohandes Ins. targets EGP 110m profit in FY19/20 - KSA - Al Ahlia gets SAMA's nod on 23% capital cut - Irish University to Offer Blockchain Master’s Degree - KSA – SAMA lifts the Ban on Union Cooperative Ins. - Egypt’s FRA wraps up Insurance Act consultations - NBB joins Bahrain Fintech Bay’s talent programme - AIB-Bahrain in bid to boost Islamic digital banking - Bupa Arabia provides health ins. to 299 orphans - Facebook to Roll Out Cryptocurrency in 2020 - Egypt - CBE to ban issuance of cryptocurrency without licenses - UAE economic growth expected at 2% in 2019 - Smart Dubai, DHA use AI to save lives - Alibaba Announces Blockchain Technology Integration - Gulf Capital acquires 70pc stake in Medica - Bahrain Association of Banks to launch sign language dictionary - Insurer First American left 900 m customer files exposed - Oman – Ins. premiums reached OMR 463.5 m in 2018 - UAE – Reinsurance absorbs AED 2.25 B premiums in Q1 - Egypt – EGP 12 monthly ins. premium on electronic cars - GCC bond and sukuk issuance surged by USD 32 billion in Q1 - Saudi fiscal deficit to reach 7 per cent of GDP in 2019 - UAE - Chinese conglomerate considers $ 10 B investment - MENA fund managers increase investments in Egypt - Bahrain - InsurByte Re-imagining Insurance 2019 - Sovereign investors favour unlisted tech - Amazon shareholders reject facial recognition ban - Kuwait - MoCI obliges all insurers to codify documents - Egypt - Regulator to review draft Ins. 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. Group announces net profit of KD 3.7m for Q1 2019 - NBB forges ahead with open banking in Bahrain - 2019 General Assembly - Bahrain highlights its plans to target InsurTech - KSA - Al Alamiya inks insurance deal with Riyad Bank - Visa partners with Bahrain FinTech Bay - Fintech is Key to Shaping Sustainable Islamic Finance - USA - Chinese Citizen Indicted in Anthem Hack of 80 Million People - Digital Ins: Aegon Life on-boards eBaoTech - CMA inaugurates health ins. diploma course for Omanis - Kuwait - Al-Roudhan lifts suspension of 3 ins. Companies - UAE: AED 24.4 million as profits for “Dubai Insurance” - UK: RSA sees strong growth opportunity in five industry practices - Moumen Moukhtar, the new President of Misr Insurance Co. - SAR 55 million profit of 13 Saudi insurance companies - Growth outlook lowered for GCC economies this year - Saudi Arabia may relax shares limit for foreign investors - Dubai to switch to 25% autonomous vehicles by 2030 - $1bn Mubadala fund set for big Abu Dhabi launch - Board of Directors of Arab Re: positive results in year 2018 - KSA - CMA Approves the Capital Increase of Walaa ins. - Bahrain - New strategies urged to tackle cybercrime - KSA – SAMA celebrates the graduate of 2nd bath in cybersecurity - GCC Board Directors Institute Launches Director Program - KSA finance ministry announces 30 years Sukuk issuance - Oman – Awareness campaign on health ins. 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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Corporate RISK MANAGEMENT – Getting it Right

The development of the new Solvency rules in Europe has seen risk management become not only a key function in the decision making process but also a regulatory requirement. The application and robustness of a risk management process is also a major factor for credit rating agencies in the evaluation of companies’ financial strength.

In the MENA region, where no risk-based regulations are yet fully developed and implemented, companies find themselves bound to comply with the agencies’ requirements hoping for a sound and better rating position.

In a world where credit rating is currently seen as the most important and reliable information in business relationships, even more than the entity’s history and market reputation, getting a good rating has become a vital element to business expansion and thus to the survival of the enterprise.

Requirements in this context are to establish an efficient risk management framework, define the different steps of the process and draw a plan for its practical implementation.

It is worth mentioning here that rating criteria do not only include internal factors; political risk, terrorism, security situation and sovereign rating also play a major role in determining the creditworthiness of regional players. The rating position of institutions located in unstable countries is ruled by their sovereign rating and negatively affected by the environment in which they operate.

The strength of a risk management programme is however defined by its ability to cope with uncertainties and to mitigate its risk exposure, an element that should be evenly viewed by rating agencies regardless of the physical location of the organisation.

Beyond regulatory and rating constraints, a successful application of the process would require us to go back to the basics of risk management and to its fundamental principles.

In a company, the one primarily responsible for risk management is the business owner, the first in charge of deciding on the objectives and future plans of their own enterprise.

To succeed, they will have to fully understand the business operations and identify the global risks that would impede the achievement of their goals. The definition of the elements of failure and success, if clearly communicated to the company’s directors, will enable them to ensure that the work process meets the requirements of the business owner.

It will therefore be the top management’s responsibility to identify all the risks to which the undertaking is exposed, from their own experience and from the daily work of employees.

It is the close cooperation and sharing of information between directors and business owners that helps inform the company’s global strategy.

 Sound communication at the top of the organisation strengthens the risk management system as well as the chances of success of the entity.

To ensure clear communication, directors are required to put in place an efficient control and management system. The practical implementation of the process varies from one undertaking to another; organizational structure, work distribution, definition of roles and responsibilities, recruitment of specialised positions (risk managers, actuaries etc.), everything depends on the company’s internal policy.

Three elements remain nevertheless crucial for the development of a risk management process: understand the work operations, define the risk categories to which the entity is exposed and specify business indicators that allows effective monitoring evolveoring of how the risks evolve.

The intelligent definition of risk indicators, the development of necessary measurement tools and the good follow-up on their movement are determining factors of the level of progress and maturity of a risk management system. An effective control of these indicators facilitates the reporting and decision making process. While business indicators are used to prevent uncertainties by observing, for example, the financial, economic, geopolitical situation, the market conditions and the work environment,

it is only the measurement of the risks taken by the enterprise that allows to assess its level of exposure.


In order to simplify risk measurement, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), in its preparation of the new supervisory regime for insurance and reinsurance undertakings, has developed standard formulas for the calculation of the regulatory capital requirement. The calibration of the calculation methods and parameters to be used misses nonetheless to adequately represent the risk profile specific to each entity. In order to address this problem, many insurance firms have decided to work on the development of their own internal models.

However, the procedures needed to implement these models may get companies lost in the complexity of calculations while preventing them from properly understanding the obtained results. It should be noted here that a risk measurement model should equally be considered as a management tool.

The capital charges produced are not just simple figures; if well analysed, they can help in evaluating the risk profile of the organisation, understanding causes and effects and finding the right solutions to enhance the level of risk.

A proper assessment of results requires a perfect knowledge of the data, assumptions and structure of the model. Hence, the analysis of the variation of capital charges goes back to determining how a change in the business profile impacts the company’s solvency and its vulnerability to hazards. It is therefore paramount to thoroughly analyse the information entered in the model so that the results appropriately reflect the entity’s exposure. Obviously, the complexity of calculations is proportional to the level of sophistication of business operations.

However, simplified methods and stress tests may better serve to understand and measure risks than other complicated approaches.


Knowing the procedures required for the establishment of a sound risk management process is not alas the only condition to its success.

Despite the fact that insurance risk management calls for the scientific skills of actuaries and of specialised professionals, it is not to be considered as a science in itself, but rather a culture to be deployed throughout the enterprise.

Having qualified positions in charge of risk management may not be sufficient for the implementation of a robust and efficient framework.

A risk culture is above all a cooperation and communication system between different parts of the institution. Employees need to work in tandem towards a common goal to understand risks and the importance of controlling them. Risk management is successful when it is no longer considered as a separate function from the rest of the entity and when it is integrated in the work of employees.

Risk culture in a company is a reflection of its management’s spirit. If it is duly seized at the top of the organization it can be better transmitted down to the rest of the team.

Finally, putting in place a risk management programme with the only objective to satisfy regulatory and rating requirements doesn’t necessarily lead to the desired level of risk control. It is essential to understand the advantages of the process and to be convinced of its key role in improving the company’s performance.

A risk management framework should first and foremost be adapted to the business model of the entity in order to meet the work needs and better manage its specific risks. It is only in this spirit that the application of norms can serve to develop the risk culture, increase the efficiency of the processes and strengthen the position of risk management in value creation.

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