Qatar Insurance Group, the leading insurer in Qatar and the Middle East North African (MENA) region yesterday announced its financial results for the first nine months ended September 30, 2019. Following a meeting of the Board of Directors, which was presided over by Sheikh Khalid bin Mohammed bin Ali Al-Thani, Chairman & Managing Director of the Board of Directors, the Board approved the financial results.
The MENA markets continued to produce stable premiums with underwriting profitability, weathering geopolitical headwinds in the region. QIC Group’s international operations further expanded in select low volatility classes.
Compared with the first nine months of 2018, the Group’s Gross Written Premium (GWP) expanded by 3% to QAR 9.8 billion. The Group’s international carriers namely namely Qatar Re, Antares, QIC Europe Limited (QEL) and its Gibraltar based carriers account for approximately 76% of the Group’s total GWP.
QIC Insured, the personal insurance division of QIC, continued its growth in digital transformation and innovative products. As a testament to its leading role in driving innovation QIC was conferred the “Best Digital Transformation in Insurance Award” at the inaugural edition of the Enterprise Transformation Summit held in Doha.
The Group’s net underwriting result improved by 11% to QAR 420 million compared with QAR 378 million for the same period last year. Low-severity high frequency business now accounts for a significant portion of QIC’s total underwriting portfolio.
The underwriting performance during the reporting period was adversely affected by the UK Government’s decision to revise the Ogden discount rate to minus 0.25% on 15th July 2019. The UK Motor insurance and reinsurance business is exposed to impacts caused by the changed discount rates and expected future lump sum settlements of personal injury cases
Investment income came in at QAR 610 million for the first nine months of 2019. QIC Group’s current investment return amounted to an annualized 4.6%, compared with 4.5% for the same period of 2018. The Group’s investment performance remains unrivalled by any of its peers, based on careful diversification across geographies and asset classes. Regional and global market conditions remained favourable.
Overall, on the back of stable underwriting results and resilient investment income, the Group’s net profit for the first nine months of 2019 increased by 6% at QAR 500 million, compared with QAR 474 million in the same period last year.
QIC has vigorously maintained its focus on streamlining operations in order to further improve its operational efficiency. During the reporting period, the administrative expense ratio for its core operations came in at 6.8%. The Group’s ongoing endeavor towards process efficiencies and automation continued to yield fruit.
Commenting on the financial performance for first nine months of 2019, Mr. Khalifa Abdulla Turki Al Subaey, Group President & CEO of QIC Group stated, “We continue to execute on our strategic shift towards lower volatility segments of the international markets. QIC’s stable underwriting profitability testifies to the attractive economics of this business, with relatively stable and predictable margins.”
He further continued, “The Group’s near-term outlook remains cautiously optimistic. Our exposure to the geopolitical situation in the Middle East and the vagaries of global re/insurance pricing is relatively moderate. As QIC does not underwrite the market but focuses on bespoke, innovative and expertise-based transactions we continue to be shielded from a number of major risk scenarios presented by the political and economic environment”.
Earlier in July 2019, Standard & Poor’s reaffirmed QIC’s financial strength rating of A/Stable, referring to the Company’s “strong business and financial risk profiles, its scale, diversified premium base (by geography and product), and ability to post good results”.
QIC benefits from ‘AAA’ level risk-based capital adequacy despite rapid growth and various acquisitions over recent years.