Posted on February 04, 2020

Qatar Insurance Group, the leading insurer in the MENA region yesterday announced its financial results for 2019. Following a meeting of the Board of Directors, which was presided over by Sheikh Khalid bin Mohammed bin Ali Al-Thani, Chairman & Managing Director, the Board approved the financial results for the year 2019.

In 2019, QIC recorded growth in gross written premiums (GWP) of 2% to QAR 12.8 billion compared to QAR 12.6 billion for the same period of the previous year. QIC’s operations particularly benefited from the Group’s strategic reallocation of capacity into lower volatility and higher frequency risks, such as its short-tail personal lines business. In addition, growth was driven by the successful digitization of QIC’s direct insurance business in the region. QIC’s international business namely, Antares, Qatar Re, QIC Europe Limited (QEL) and the three Gibraltar based insurers acquired from the Markerstudy group continued the integration of its operations under QIC Global and now accounts for 76% of the Group’s total premium base. Qatar Re, QIC Group’s global multi-line reinsurer has been ranked 26th amongst the global top 50 reinsurers, up from rank no. 35 in 2016, according to the Top 50 reinsurers’ ranking published by A.M. Best.

Despite continued geopolitical headwinds, the MENA markets continued to benefit from stronger economic growth and diversification in the region. Driven by a healthy demand for personal lines, namely, motor and health insurance, QIC continued to maintain its leading position in the MENA region. The Group’s retail operations, QIC Insured, and Life and Medical insurance subsidiary, QLM Life & Medical, continued to spearhead the digital transformation of the industry with the introduction of innovative products and integration of Artificial Intelligence.

In 2019, QIC won the prestigious “Best Digital Transformation in Insurance Award”, recognizing its best-in-class digital technologies both in the retail and medical insurance space. In January 2019, QIC was once again recognized as the “Best Motor Insurance Company MENA” region at the Global Banking & Finance Review awards.

The Group’s net underwriting result came in at QAR 355 million, as compared to QAR 576 million in 2018. This reflects the prudent reserve strengthening policy applied across the international business, the impact of increase in reserves for our UK motor business in response to the further revision of the Ogden discount rate by the UK Government, and the impact of natural catastrophe losses experienced in the autumn of 2019 due to the tropical cyclones, Typhoons Faxai and Hagibis that caused landfall in Japan. On the other hand, the direct business in Qatar and MENA continued to perform strongly, benefiting from enhanced efficiencies through the wider use of digital technologies.

In 2019, the investment team of QIC Group once again proved its mettle. Despite increased global market volatility and tightening monetary policy conditions, the Group’s investment team performed exceptionally well, living up to its track record of being a highly successful investment manager.

QIC Group achieved an excellent investment income of QAR 1,084 million, as compared to QAR 863 million in 2018. On a year-to-year basis the return on investment excluding any one-off gains came at a healthy 4.4%, compared with 4.3% for 2018. The team’s outstanding investment performance is built on a careful diversification of the portfolio across geographies and investment classes. In 2019, QIC’s investment team was recognized as the “Top Investment House” in a survey conducted by The Asset magazine in collaboration with Benchmark Research. Simultaneously, QIC Group also received authorization to establish Epicure Investment Management company which is regulated by Qatar Financial Centre (QFC). Epicure Investment Management has been set-up to carry out investment business consultancy, building on QIC’s recognition as a leading investment manager.

QIC is committed to further its efforts in achieving Qatarization, in accordance with the country’s efforts to realizing the Qatar National Vision (QNV) 2030. QIC has a track record of empowering younger Qatari talents into demanding corporate roles and executive management positions.

As part of a smooth transition and succession planning at the executive management level, on 13 January 2020, the Board approved the recommendation of Mr. Khalifa A. Al Subaey, the Group President & CEO and appointed Mr. Salem Khalaf Al Mannai as the Group CEO of Qatar Insurance Group. Mr. Salem Khalaf Al Mannai has been with QIC since 2001 and has been instrumental in positioning QIC Group as the digitally transformed insurance company in the region. Mr. Khalifa A. Al Subaey will continue in his capacity as Group President of Qatar Insurance Group.

QIC Group maintains a lean and efficient organization. In 2019, the Group’s continued endeavour towards further streamlining and automating of its processes resulted in a healthy operational expense ratio of 6.5%. In total, the Group’s stable underwriting results and strong investment income translated into a consolidated net profit for 2019 of QAR 671 million, compared with QAR 664 million for the previous year. QIC’s Board of Directors in their meeting reviewed the company’s performance along with the financial information for the year ended 2019 and has recommended a cash dividend of 15% (2018: 15%) from the share par value, i.e. QAR 0.15 for each share.

Commenting on QIC Group’s stable financial performance for the year 2019, Mr. Khalifa Abdulla Turki Al Subaey, Group President of QIC Group said, “In 2019, we were pleased with strong and profitable premium growth that we enjoyed in our core markets in the MENA region. At the same time, the integration of our international business, Qatar Re, Antares, QIC Europe (QEL) and the three Gibraltar based insurance companies acquired from the Markerstudy Group is progressing on target. These developments reflect the success of our efforts to refocus our underwriting capacity on risks with a more favorable risk-return ratio, namely, our short-tail, personal lines business. Moreover, in the MENA region, we are spearheading the digitization of our industry, thereby increasing our operational efficiency while strengthening our client relationships.”