QIC looking to expand into new countries amid Saudi-led siege

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Al-Mannai: Abu Dhabi licence renewal process underway.

Qatar Insurance Co (QIC), the Middle East and North Africa’s largest insurer by market capitalisation, is focusing on new countries to offset the impact of the Saudi-led campaign to isolate Qatar, a senior executive said.“The spat has made us focus on newer markets like Oman,” Salem Khalaf al-Mannai, chief executive officer for the Middle East and North Africa region, said in an interview in Doha on Monday. “In the past three months we have secured business in Oman that is equivalent to our Abu Dhabi business.”

The Doha-based company, which gets 30% of its group’s business from the Gulf region, considers the impact of the regional standoff on its operations in the UAE to be “minimal,” al-Mannai said. “The UAE business, though a strategically very important market, represents a small percentage of the overall QIC Group business.”

QIC is exploring options to make sure to sustain its position in the UAE, he said. The insurer still has an active licence in Abu Dhabi and the renewal process is underway, he said.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and transport links with Qatar on June 5. QIC has been in Abu Dhabi since 2002, and its underwriting gross premium in the market is about 110mn riyals ($30mn) a year.