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Saturday, 16 August 2008

QIB, partners working on global takaful firm

by Pratap John (Gulf Times)

DOHA: A large Islamic insurance (takaful) company with global operations may become a reality in the coming months if efforts by QIB and partners to consolidate their takaful businesses in various countries prove successful.
QIB is among the promoters of Solidarity, a Bahrain-based regional takaful firm. Qatar’s largest Islamic lender has already set up a takaful arm in Pakistan with other investors.
QIB has also partnered Qatar Insurance Company in establishing a takaful company at the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC).
QIB chief executive officer, Salah Mohamed al-Jaidah yesterday said the bank planned to work with its partners in bringing all these Islamic insurance firms under a global takaful company. “Yes, there is a big scope for a very large takaful firm with a global reach. Currently, big financial institutions do not provide takaful products with greater depths,” al-Jaidah told Gulf Times here.
Asked where the proposed company would be based, he said, “It is yet to be decided. All I can tell you now is that the proposed firm can become a major takaful player, at a world scale.” Al-Jaidah clarified QIB had no plans at the moment to set up its own bancassurance division.
“The trend among conventional banks is to get into bancassurance given the growing potential of insurance products. We are different from conventional banks. At an Islamic bank, we can pursue businesses or offer products and services only by strict adherence to Shariah,” al-Jaidah said.
He said QIB’s distribution capabilities could be utilised in marketing the takaful products in areas within its jurisdiction. At the same time QIB will like to see other distribution channels partnering with it in the Islamic insurance portfolio.
“We are very much focused on growing the takaful business. It is among our priority areas,” al-Jaidah added.
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