Doha Insurance seeks to open offices in Europe and Lebanon

Sheikh Nawaf says there would be the possibility of converting representative offices into branches.

Doha Insurance Group is seeking to open representative offices in London and Beirut that will underwrite reinsurance business, including energy risks, life and medical insurance, pending official approvals from relevant authorities, company chairman Sheikh Nawaf bin Nasser bin Khaled al-Thani said.  Addressing company shareholders at their ordinary and extraordinary annual general meeting at the La Cigale in Doha yesterday, Sheikh Nawaf said there would be the possibility of converting representative offices to branches, if necessary.

He said Doha Insurance Group has obtained the final approval from Qatar Central Bank (QCB) to transform its Islamic insurance branch — Doha Takaful — into a shareholding company of limited liability.  “The articles of association of this company are being drafted along with obtaining a separate commercial registration for it,” Sheikh Nawaf said.  The group will seek to restructure the new company (wholly owned) to develop its performance and raise the proficiency of its cadres in order to enable it to capture a larger share of the takaful insurance market, the results of which will hopefully contribute to the group’s earnings stream and strengthen its balance sheet, he said.

On Doha Insurance Group’s other future plans, Sheikh Nawaf said the group’s investment in the DIG-owned IT company in Jordan “will be supported and developed” to enable it to produce software and develop the software industry, computerisation and electronic commerce and information technology, including insurance software that partially meets the needs of the group, reducing the costs of such software and the risk of its operation. He said the group’s management will develop its investment portfolio and diversify its assets, including increasing the share of bonds and sukuks, taking into account the expected increase in interest rates during the next year.

“We will also consider the purchase of new income-generating properties,” Sheikh Nawaf said. Later speaking to Gulf Times, Doha Insurance Group CEO Bassam Hussein said Doha Takaful would be turned into a fully-fledged insurance company on its own, but 100% owned by the group. “It will be separate but within two years we hope it will have all the tools to perform exceptionally well,” Hussein added.

Sources and photo-credits: Gulf Times