Despite adversity in past years, several positive market indicators forecast a boost in Qatar's insurance sector. Insurance market analysts anticipate and await a new boom in the local insurance market, due to two main factors: recent market stability and the fact that the market competition had reached a peak.
Qatar's declining oil prices in 1998 harmed the local insurance sector, as the value of the total subscribed insurance installments fell by 3.5% in that year to QR 19.246 million, Al-Watan newspaper reported.
Four key-players dominate the Qatari insurance market: The Qatar Insurance Company launched in 1964 by QR 100 million; the Qatari Insurance and Re-Insurance Public Company started in 1978 by QR 30 million, the Gulf Insurance Company instituted in 1978 by QR 24 million, and the Qatari Islamic Insurance Company established in 1994 by QR 20 million.
Foreign companies, however, are not strangers to Qatar's insurance sector. Four non-Qatari companies presently operate in the Qatari insurance market: The Arab Limited Insurance Company established in 1966 (Lebanese); the Lebanese-Swiss Insurance Guarantee Company instituted in 1966 (Lebanese); the Atlas Insurance Company launched in 1966 (British), and the Al-Ahliya Insurance Company launched in 1969 (Egyptian).
Qatar's insurance market awaits the entry of a new firm in the near future. The Doha Insurance Company is a national company to be established based on a 1999 governmental decree (#30). Propagated by Sheikh Jasem Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the decree proposes the establishment of this new insurance firm by QR 200 million capital.
Insurance companies in the State of Qatar generated revenues of QR 433,186,000 in 1998, compared to QR 424,058,000 in the previous year. These firms accrued expenses of QR 420,515,000 in 1998, compared to QR 387,400,000 in 1997. (QR3.64=$1).
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )