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Pak-Qatar Ventures to begin Operations Next Month

The Pak-Qatar General Takaful Company and the Pak-Qatar Family Takaful Company are due to start operations in Pakistan this September, Izzat M Al Rashid, General Manager of Qatar Islamic Insurance Company (QIIC) said here yesterday. Both companies are being promoted by the Qatar Islamic Insurance Company (QIIC), Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB) and a prominent Qatari businessman.

The sponsors along with other Qatari participants hold 51 per cent of shares in each of the two companies, while the remaining 49 per cent are being offered to Pakistani nationals and strategic investors.

The general insurance business aims to bring specialised products covering accident, fire, marine, engineering, money and banking, property insurance and liability, while the life insurance will roll out investment and protection products, saving product, retirement and education policies. Announcing the company's semi-annual financials yesterday at the QIIC's headquarters, Al Rashid said that the insurer's assets exceeded the QR500m mark for the first time in its history.

QIIC posted 33 per cent rise in its first-half net profits to QR24.6m, while the company's earnings-per-share (EPS) in H1 was QR1.64 compared to QR1.23 in the corresponding period last year. The shareholders' equity reached QR245m or a 6 per cent increase over the figures of the corresponding period in 2006. The gross underwriting premium as of June 30, 2007, was over QR97.4m representing an increase of 20 per cent over the figures of the corresponding period in 2006.

However, the net policyholders' insurance surplus reached a modest QR10m, lower than the QR17.4m achieved in the corresponding period last year. Al Rashid attributed this to the fact that the company then posted remarkable profits resulting from sales of properties and also due to modest increase in investment income in the first half of this year.

Al Rashid said that he was confident that the company will witness further achievements in all aspects of its business in the second half of this year, having formulated a comprehensive plan with a view to diversifying investment opportunities.

However, he deplored the huge pressure on the local insurance market brought about by motor accident and claims leading to increasing loss ratio, calling on the authorities to review the current third party policy premium that has remained unchanged for the last 15 years. This, he said, would complement the recently issued traffic laws aimed at regulating vehicular traffic and reduce the number of accidents and loss of lives on the country's roads. (menafn.com)

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