Bahrain's insurance sector open to foreign ownership
The Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA) has lifted a key restriction on foreign insurance brokers and loss adjusters operating in Bahrain, allowing companies to set up shop without local partners.
Earlier regulations required local insurance brokers and loss adjuster firms to be at least 51 percent Bahraini owned. "Such businesses are now allowed to operate as 100 percent foreign owned firms," said the Director of Insurance Supervision at the BMA, Tawfiq Isa Shehab. "We hope this will encourage international firms to use Bahrain as the base for their regional operations."
Since assuming responsibility of regulating the insurance sector in August 2002, the BMA has been implementing a new strategic plan to reinforce Bahrain's status as a major insurance center in the Middle East region. A key element of the new strategy includes a major upgrade of insurance regulation.
Several consultations are being undertaken to develop a practical and workable framework, which delivers appropriate protection without overloading the industry with regulatory costs.
The consultations cover such issues as captive insurance, solvency, conduct of business, high level requirements, risk management and financial crime, enforcement, BMA reporting and public disclosures, intermediaries and Islamic insurance (takaful). — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)