To launch Takaful products in GCC countries

Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), Generali and Beema have reached an agreement to assess the feasibility of the future launch of a joint venture in the Takaful business. The agreement aims at creating a partnership that will draw upon the insurance technical skills of the Generali Group combined with the market knowledge and distribution capabilities of QIB, together with the skills of Beema in the Takaful business.

The Takaful sector, grounded on compliance with Islamic laws, is expected to produce a volume of $20bn in 2015, of which 30% is to be underwritten in the Gulf Cooperation Council market, which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani, chairman of QIB, said: “Our plans are to launch Takaful products in the GCC countries first, giving priority to our local and regional markets, and then place a particular focus on geographic areas which are relevant to Takaful. QIB is drawing upon its 27 years of experience in the Islamic banking industry and its pioneering work in the retail, corporate and private banking sectors around the world to help provide a global platform for this much-needed banking product.”

Sergio Balbinot, chief executive officer of Generali, said: “Our Group gives a strategic value to Takaful products in the light of demographic, economic and insurance factors. One quarter of the world population is Muslim and 60% of Muslims are under 25. Islamic countries produce 23% of the wealth generated by emerging markets, though their insurance penetration indexes are still low.

“I believe that the partnership between QIB – one of the leading Islamic banks in the world – and Generali, along with the invaluable Beema’s local experience, has the potential to create a leading player for Takaful business in the Gulf and for the ensuing exploitation of the many opportunities offered by this market segment, both in Europe and in Asia.”