Bahrain strives to become region’s insurance hub
The Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA) is launching a major project to create a first-rate insurance market, offering both conventional and Islamic services.
The Bahrain International Insurance Centre (BIIC) will be located within the $1.3 billion Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH) complex, currently being built along the Manama seafront.
“The industry, which contributed 2.6 percent to Bahrain's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2002, offers tremendous potential for growth and for creating high quality, specialized jobs for Bahrainis,” said Minister of Finance and National Economy and Deputy Chairman of the BMA Board, Abdulla Hassan Saif.
Gross premiums of 18 insurance firms operating in the domestic market totaled $180 million in 2002. The insurance industry's contribution to GDP, at current prices, amounted to $218 million in 2002.
“The BIIC is designed to be a physical hub of insurance service providers, as well as ancillary service providers, all under one roof,” said Governor of the BMA, Shaikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa.
The project is the finishing touch to a comprehensive plan, currently being implemented by the BMA, to further develop and grow the Kingdom's insurance industry. “Since the BMA assumed responsibility of regulating the insurance sector, in August 2002, the industry's further development has been a top priority for the Agency,” said Shaikh Ahmed.
Specific lines of business being targeted for growth and expansion include Bancassurance, Takaful (Islamic insurance), and captive insurance. The nerve center will be customized for the industry, offering a host of services, including office space, meeting and conference rooms, an auditorium as well as retail and hospitality outlets.
The Kingdom of Bahrain hosts the largest concentration of banks and other financial institutions in the Middle East. The Kingdom's insurance industry comprises insurance and reinsurance firms, loss adjustors, brokers, actuaries, insurance consultants and providers of other ancillary services. Bahrain also hosts two major insurance syndicates, the Arab War Risk Insurance Syndicate (AWRIS) and the Federation of Afro Asian Oil and Energy Insurance Syndicate. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)