Representatives of the Takaful and Retakaful insurance sector are to form a regulatory body for the industry. The decision was reached at the World Takaful Conference held recently in Dubai in strategic partnership with the Dubai International Financial Centre.
Speaking at an interactive PowerTable session, Dr. Saleh Malaika, Vice Chairman and CEO, Salama Islamic Arab Insurance Company, said there were three components required to take the Takaful industry to the next stage in its development. These are, first, to establish an authority to regulate the industry; second, to assign ratings similar to those applied to banks; and third, greater cooperation between the Arabic and Asian members of the industry.
Ajmal Bhatty, Global Head of Takaful, HSBC Amanah said the Takaful industry needed to make itself more competitive in order to attract a greater share of the insurance sector. He said that the potential for growth was enormous. The industry was worth US$2 billion in 2003 and estimates suggest it would grow to between $12b - $14b by 2015.
The World Takaful Conference was attended by several well known Insurance organisations. Chakib Abouzaid, CEO Takaful Re said “Takaful Re’s endeavour of being a Retakaful sponsor of the World Takaful Conference synergies with our mission to be committed and actively contribute to the growth and development of Takaful & Islamic insurance industry in accordance with Shari’a principles.”
The conference attracted more that 200 delegates. The interactive PowerTable session, hosted by Ernst & Young, was moderated by Nima Abu-Wardeh, presenter of the BBC Middle East Business Report, and provided a lively debate on the developments, challenges, risks and benefits of Takaful. The panel of experts also fielded questions posed by delegates participating in the conference.
The panellists included Sameer Abdi, Executive Manager, Islamic Financial Services Group, Ernst & Young Bahrain; Peter Casey, Director – Supervision, Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA); Dr. Saleh Malaikah , Vice Chairman and CEO, Salama Islamic Arab Insurance Company; Ajmal Bhatty , Global Head of Takaful, HSBC Amanah; Yassir Albaharna, CEO; Arab Insurance Group (ARIG); Jihad Feitrouni,General Manager, AMAN; and Oussama A. Kaissi, General Manager, Abu Dhabi National Takaful Company –TAKAFUL.
The World Takaful Conference is an annual conference and it was announced that the next conference will be held in the first quarter of 2007.