Bahrain’s insurance market to grow
Economic Development Board Chief Executive, Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa, welcomed today the latest addition to Bahrain’s financial sector, Zurich Insurance Company (ZIC). Earlier this week, the international firm was granted a general insurance license by the Central Bank of Bahrain to operate from Bahrain and expand its activities throughout the Gulf region to provide services to a larger corporate client-base.
Shaikh Mohammed commented, “We are delighted to welcome ZIC to open a branch in Bahrain. Their expertise and experience will be warmly welcomed.”
Zurich Financial Services, headquartered in Zurich was founded in 1884 and has had a presence in Bahrain since 1983 through subsidiaries including Zurich Insurance Services (Middle East) and Zurich International Life.
The recent addition of ZIC to Bahrain’s insurance sector is also testament to the Economic Development Board’s efforts to attract international companies to bring world-class services to Bahrain and the wider region.
Shaikh Mohammed added, “This licence is a testament to the positive business environment that we seek to create in Bahrain, from our business-friendly approach to the quality of our ancillary services. The insurance industry in Bahrain has gone from strength to strength in recent years and it’s one of the sectors where we continue to see real growth potential.”
Bahrain is already home to over 150 conventional insurance companies and 18 Takaful firms which provide insurance that adheres to Islamic principles. The insurance industry in Bahrain has grown steadily in recent years, achieving double digit growth. The global Takaful market has shown strong growth, with Ernst & Young’s World Takaful Report 2009 noting that global Takaful contributions rose to $3.4 billion in 2007, compared with $2.5 billion in 2006.