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Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Dubai Group Acquires 51% Stake in Kuwaiti Al Fajer Retakaful – the largest Global Retakaful Company

Dubai Group, the leading diversified financial company of Dubai Holding announced today that it has acquired a 51% per cent controlling stake in Al Fajer Retakaful Insurance Company KSCC, through its global Shariah compliant investment company Dubai Islamic Investment Group.
Al Fajer Re, a closed Kuwaiti shareholding company, is the first licensed retakaful company in Kuwait and the third in the Gulf region, and is considered to be the largest global retakaful by paid up capital of US$ 178.5 million.
Dubai Islamic Investment Group’s investment in Al Fajer Re marks Dubai Group’s foray into the retakaful sector as a first step to drive the segment globally. Dubai Islamic Investment Group will bring extensive experience from its current investment portfolio owning stakes in Bank Islam Malaysia, the largest and oldest Islamic Bank in Malaysia, National Bonds UAE, the National Shariah-compliant Saving scheme and the strength of its sister companies under Dubai Group in Islamic finance, including takaful and retakaful products.
Salaam Al Shaksy, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Islamic Investment Group, said: “We primarily focus on investments and establishing businesses through strategic alliances that help deliver exceptional returns, long term growth and sustainable shareholder value. Al Fajer Re offers tremendous growth potential and is an appropriate addition to our existing portfolio.”
The worldwide takaful industry is one of the fastest expanding segments in global insurance, registering 15-20 per cent growth per annum, according to latest industry estimates. The international takaful market is expected to be worth over US$ 6billion by 2010 and currently generates premiums of approximately US$ 3.5 billion a year.
Al Fajer’s core business model is to focus on Property & Engineering, Marine, Casualty & Motor and Family Retakaful. Underlying the Kuwaiti retakaful company’s development is an in-depth strategy of diversification along the current lines of business and geographical spread, allowing its product portfolio to be more adaptable to market conditions.
Omar M. El-Quqa, Executive Vice President, Global Investment House, the Holding company which was instrumental in conceptualizing and incorporating Al Fajer Re, said the deal underscores Global’s confidence and outlook for the retakaful industry in the region.
He added: “Dubai Islamic Investment Group’s acquisition of a majority stake in Al Fajer Re reassures our faith in the concept when we took the challenge to establish the first such company in Kuwait. Its presence will further boost Al Fajer's regional expansion plans.
“Supported by an expert management team with an in-depth knowledge of the regional market, the deal will help Al Fajer Re to play a pivotal role in the development of this relatively young sector.”
Dubai Islamic Investment Group seeks to tap the immense growth opportunities within the Shariah-compliant investments industry. This is being achieved by leveraging on its Shariah based approach when eyeing the possible Private Equity and Public Equity spectrum. This is in addition to focusing on the Shariah lifestyle such as healthcare, education, halal foods and several other industries. --(AB, 3 Feb 08)

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