Arab Insurance Groups (Arig) lost $15.6 million due to difficult conditions of the reinsurance market and in general the extreme volatility of the financial markets. Arig, created in 1980, is the largest reinsurance company in the Middle East with subsidiary operations in Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia and Egypt.
Nasser Al Nowais, the company's chairman is pessimistic with regards to significant improvements of the insurance market before the year 2001. However, by expanding their business to Afro-Asian and Arab markets, the group will be ready to fully benefit and take advantage of market improvements when they occur.
Udo Krueger, the new chief executive officer of Arig, joined the firm on June 1 this year. His role is presently to guide and ameliorate the company during this difficult time by strengthening the management team.
In the past few months, the company launched life and savings products, opened securing management control subsidiary in Egypt, as well as began reinsurance underwriting at a new regional office in Malaysia.
Combined gross premiums of the company totaled $161.7 million for the first six months of this year, compared to the $195.9 million figure of the corresponding period in 1999. The reinsurance business contributed 63 percent of the total figure.
Investment income decreased by more than 65 percent, dropping from to $25.7million for the first half of 1999, to $8.9 million for the same period this year.
The company expanded its capital to $360 million in 1997 by issuing additional shares to the public. The company is traded on the stock exchanges of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt and the UK. Shareholders' equity presently stands at $324.1 million. – (Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )