Qatar Insurance Company (QIC), the leading insurer in Qatar and the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, today announced a net profit of QAR 571 million from continuing operations for the first nine months of 2022. The Group’s gross written premiums amounted to QAR 7.8 billion, as QIC’s domestic and MENA operations continued to expand its gross written premiums by 14% to QAR 2.3 billion. In line with the strategy to restructure or exit from low margin or loss making businesses, QIC Group announced its intention to divest its Gibraltar-based direct insurance carriers.
Mr Khalifa Abdulla Turki Al Subaey, Chairman and Managing Director of QIC Group, said: “QIC Group continued to deliver healthy results despite strong headwinds from soaring inflation, geo-political uncertainties, high natural catastrophe losses and financial market volatility. In this exceptional environment, our Group further strengthened its leadership position in our home markets. We reduced our exposure to volatile severity risks and laid the foundations to further trim our portfolio and to divest those businesses that no longer fit our lean, yet well-diversified business strategy.”
In the first nine months of 2022 a yet unseen combination of major headwinds challenged the insurance industry. Geopolitical tensions, in particular the Russian war on Ukraine, and the outflow from the COVID-19 pandemic continue to drive supply-chain disruptions and energy prices. While the Middle East is expected to experience strong GDP growth in 2022, the mature markets in Europe may well slide into a recession. Inflation is predicted to reach almost 9% on a global scale, while monetary policies tightened substantially with the US Fed rising its federal funds rate to 3.25% from 0.5% within just six months, pushing borrowing costs to its highest since 2008. While rising capital cost will eventually result into higher insurance rates and better returns on fixed income, in the short-term insurers have to fight exceptional capital market volatility and a decline in fixed-income market values. In addition, inflation will drive the claims ratio for legacy and long-tail risks – a threat that the Group will observe closely. Besides these challenge, insurers still had to battle with mounting natural catastrophe losses estimated at close to USD 100 billion for the first nine months of 2022.
Despite these fierce headwinds, in the first nine month of 2022, QIC Group turned in gross written premiums of QAR 7.8 billion. Mr. Salem Khalaf Al Mannai, Group Chief Executive Officer, said “QIC’s domestic insurance business in Qatar and MENA recorded another strong performance in the first nine months of 2022, turning in a solid underwriting profit. Gross written premiums in the region grew by 14% to QAR 2.3 billion, compared to QAR 2 billion in the first nine months of 2021. Volume growth was mainly driven by strong demand for QIC’s market-leading online and digital product offerings and services.”
He further added, “The Group’s international operations, QIC Global which had recently announced its intention to align its core companies under the Antares brand name, generated QAR 5.5 billion in premium volume, representing approximately 70% of the Group’s total gross written premiums.”
QIC Group generated an underwriting income of QAR 272 million in the first nine months of 2022 from its continuing opreations, underlining the Group’s robust performance based on strong results from its domestic business. The Group’s combined ratio for its continuing operations improved to 99.3% in the first nine month of 2022, compared to 99.8% for the same period of 2021.
In the first three quarters of 2022, QIC Group’s net investment income amounted to QAR 671 million. With an annualised investment return of 4.4%, the Group has once again demonstrated its outstanding expertise in asset management despite high market volatility.
The Group’s continuous efforts in process efficiency and automation yielded results as QIC Group further improved its already exceptional operational efficiency with a healthy administrative expense ratio for its core business.
Overall, the Group recorded a consolidated net profit of QAR 571 million from continuing operations during the period.
In line with the Group’s strategy to exit from low margin and loss making international direct business, QIC has decided to divest the Gibraltar-based direct insurance carriers. QIC has received an offer for purchase from a reputable institutional buyer which is under negotiation.The proposed divestment plan is subject to approval by all relevant authorities.
QIC has committed to support Qatar’s ambition to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030. QIC has established a long-term Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy and framework, which has been approved by its Board, to support Qatar’s ESG commitments and aims to incorporate ESG guidelines into its underwriting and asset management philosophy. In addition, an ESG and Sustainability Committee has been established to ensure that group-wide efforts are focused and channelled to achieve the set goals.
As part of its strategy to expand its presence in the profitable direct insurance market within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), QIC is exploring the possibility of a merger with Vision Insurance SAOG through its subsidiary Oman Qatar Insurance Co. SAOG. QIC supports a potential merger between the two entities, subject to the approval of the respective boards of directors, shareholders and stakeholders, satisfactory due diligence and necessary regulatory approvals and the signing of legally binding agreements.
QIC is named “Best Online Insurance Company in the Middle East” at the Global Banking & Finance Review Awards 2022. This recognises QIC’s exceptional performance in 2022 in terms of digitalisation of products and services. In addition, the company has achieved a record number of customers using online channels to meet their insurance needs. The award reflects the company’s success in reshaping online insurance with the introduction of innovative, market-leading online insurance solutions, particularly with the launch of qic.online as the fastest and most comprehensive online platform for policy purchase and renewal. QIC also won the Domestic General Insurer of The Year and Auto Insurance Initiative of The Year awards in Qatar at the Insurance Asia Awards 2022.
Epicure Investment Management (EIM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of QIC and one of the largest regulated investment managers in Qatar, manages over USD 7 billion of investments across asset classes for its clients and has an impeccable investment track record. Epicure Islamic Investment Management, jointly owned by QIC (51 percent) and QInvest (49 percent), is a Sharia’a compliant entity, authorised and regulated by Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA). The new company will focus on a wide range of Islamic asset management activities, ranging from investments to the development and structuring of innovative Islamic investment products.
The wholly-owned global InsurTech company Anoud Technologies LLC announced the successful launch and integration of the ACORD Data Exchange Platform and Translator (ADEPT). This platform enables real-time data exchange, translation and transformation, connecting stakeholders across the insurance industry. Anoud Tech, an ACORD Solution Provider Member and Licensed Integrator Partner of ACORD Solutions Group, has integrated ADEPT into its Anoud+ Insurance platform to enable its insurance customers to send and receive ACORD Global Reinsurance and Large Commercial (GRLC) Accounting (EBOT) and Claims (ECOT) messages with their digitally enabled inward and outward trading partners.
Antares Managing Agency Ltd (“Antares”), the Lloyd’s specialist insurance and reinsurance subsidiary of QIC Group, announced that Antares Syndicate 1274 ranked first for investment performance based on three-year average investment returns from FY 2019 to 2021, according to J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s Lloyd’s Peer Analysis. Antares achieved an average annual investment return of 3.6% compared to an average of 1.6% in the syndicate peer.
QIC Group levereged its strong regional and international influence and held the InsurTech MENA Sumit 2022, a first of its kind hybrid event in the region. Through such initiatives QIC Group proves its commitment to reshaping the digital insurance landscape by building new digital ventures and strategically investing in high potential early-stage startups. “InsurTech MENA Summit 2022, provided insurance companies, tech players and government entities both, regionally and globally, a platform and an opportunity to expand their digital business into new markets Commented Al Mannai. “QIC Group’s focus will remain in enhancing shareholder value by accomplishing a profitable, successful and socially and environmentally responsible global organisation, with its heart in Qatar”.
Qatar Insurance Company (QIC) is a publicly listed composite insurer with a consistent performance history of over 58 years and a global underwriting footprint. Founded in 1964, QIC was the first domestic insurance company in the State of Qatar. Today, QIC is the market leader in Qatar and a dominant insurer in the GCC and MENA regions. QIC is one of the highest-rated insurers in the Gulf region, with a rating of A/Stable from Standard & Poor’s and A (Excellent) from A.M. Best. It is listed on the Qatar Exchange and has a market capitalisation in excess of QAR 7.6 billion.