German insurance giant Allianz has received a license from the Central Bank of Bahrain to establish an insurance operation in the Middle Eastern country.

Allianz Takaful (Bahrain), domiciled in Bahrain, will serve as the Allianz Group’s global hub for Islamic insurance (takaful), and will be established as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the German insurer.

The new unit will undertake family takaful products, with a focus on life insurance, investment-linked insurance, and health and medical insurance.

Public perception on life insurance, in particular, has changed considerably with the introduction of takaful and now represents a huge, fairly untapped opportunity, said Al Bassam, director of licensing and policy at the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB). The entry of a global insurance player, such as Allianz, in the takaful arena also points to the tremendous potential of this line of business.

The license for Allianz is the third to be granted by the CBB in recent months to an international insurance group to establish a takaful or retakaful operation in Bahrain.