17 March 2014 Insurance

QGIR to distribute 20 percent share bonus

Qatar’s second largest insurer, The Qatar General Insurance & Reinsurance Company (QGIR), will distribute a 20 percent share bonus following a successful year which saw the company increase its net profit to QR2.1 billion ($580 million) in 2013 compared with QR175.5 million ($48.2 million) in 2012.

Following the company’s Ordinary and Extraordinary General Assembly Meeting, the Board of Directors has submitted a proposal to distribute the share bonus as well as 15 percent cash dividends, which equates to QR1.5 ($0.4) for each share.

QGIR reported gross written premiums of QR 560.3 million ($153.9 million) in 2013, compared with QR500.2 million ($137.3 million) in 2012. Premiums ceded to reinsurers increased to QR312.2 million ($85.8 million) in 2013, compared with QR278.3 million ($76.4 million) in 2012.

The group’s substantial profit increase is due to an enormous saving in cost of borrowing and financing this year through the restructuring of credit facilities and real estate re-financing arrangements by obtaining financing terms and conditions with the most competitive interest rates in the market, according to the chairman.

In January 2014, AM Best Europe upgraded the financial strength rating of QGIR to A- from B++ and issuer credit rating to a- from bbb+. The outlook for both ratings were also upgraded to stable from positive.

AM Best said: “The rating upgrades reflect QGIR’s strong risk-adjusted capitalisation, sound track record of operating performance and enhanced risk management capabilities. An offsetting rating factor is the company’s high concentration in Qatari real estate and equity assets.

QGIR's prospective risk-adjusted capitalisation is expected to remain strong and supportive of the company’s projected growth over the medium term. Capital requirements are driven by QGIR’s investment risk, with over 80 percent of its portfolio held in real estate and quoted equities at year-end 2013.”

QGIR has a 23 percent share of the Qatari market, which is enhanced by its Shari'a compliant subsidiary, General Takaful Company.

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