Qatar Insurance Company (QIC), the leading insurer in Qatar and the Middle East North African region has made a good start to the year by chalking up robust financial results for the first quarter of 2017.
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On the back of solid expansion across its key geographical markets, lines of business and client segments, QIC Group’s performance and reported pace of premium growth for Q1 2017 was in line with the company’s expectations.
QIC Group recorded 15% growth in Gross Written Premium (GWP) to USD 849 million in Q1 2017 when compared to the same period in the previous year.
Key contributors to the reported growth were the Group’s global reinsurance and specialty insurance subsidiaries, namely Qatar Re and Antares, in addition to its Life and Medical insurance subsidiary, QLM, headquartered in Doha, Qatar. The Group’s international subsidiaries in Bermuda, London and Malta now account for approximately 69% of QIC’s total GWP.
The Group recorded a significant increase in investment and other income to USD 83 million compared to USD 55 million for the same period last year.
Net underwriting results decreased by 35% to USD 49 million compared to USD 76 million for same period last year, as a result of a change in the Ogden Discount Rate that was announced in March this year by the Justice Secretary in the United Kingdom. The discount rate related to lump-sum personal injury compensation was cut from 2.5% to -0.75%. This had a significant negative impact on the motor insurance business in the United Kingdom with expected losses to the insurance market of about GBP 7 billion. Qatar Re, QIC’s global reinsurance subsidiary, has recognized the Ogden impact in Q1 2017, reducing its underwriting income by about USD 31 million.
Overall, the Group’s net profit for the reporting period stood at USD 85 million as compared to USD 90 in the same quarter last year.
For 2017, the Group has renewed its focus on streamlining operations in order to further improve its operational efficiency. At Q1 2017, the administrative expense ratio for its core operations came in at 8.5%.
As of 31st March 2017, QIC Group’s shareholders’ equity stood at USD 2.29 billion. In Q1 2017, the Group, via Qatar Re, also successfully issued Tier 2 capital in the amount of USD 450 million. The issue was 14 times oversubscribed.
Commenting on the financial performance for Q1 2017, Mr. Khalifa Abdulla Turki Al Subaey, Group President & CEO of QIC Group stated, “The results for Q1 2017 highlight the Group’s sound risk management principles and its constant endeavour at exploiting profitable growth opportunities. We will continue to increase our book of business, build on our capabilities and expand our reach in order to introduce innovative products and services in the target markets”.
He further continued, “The Group’s outlook for the future remains cautiously optimistic. Our long term goal remains to seize market opportunities as they arise whilst focusing on maintaining close proximity with our clients and adapting to a rapidly changing environment.”