Dubai Group, the diversified financial company of Dubai Holding, yesterday said it has acquired a 51 per cent per cent controlling stake in Al Fajer Retakaful Insurance Company through its global Shariah-compliant investment company Dubai Islamic Investment Group (DIIG).
Al Fajer Re, a Kuwaiti company, is the first licenced retakaful firm in Kuwait and the third in the Gulf region. It is considered to be the largest global retakaful firm by paid-up capital of $178.5 million (Dh655m), Dubai Group said in a statement.
DIIG’s investment in Al Fajer Re is its first in the retakaful sector. The Shariah investor owns stakes in Bank Islam Malaysia, the largest and oldest Islamic bank in Malaysia and National Bonds Corporation in the UAE.
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 to 20 per cent growth per year, according to latest industry estimates, Dubai Group said.
The international takaful market is expected to be worth more than $6bn (Dh22bn) by 2010 and generates premiums of about $3.5bn (Dh12.8bn) a year.
Al Fajer Re’s core business model is to focus on property, engineering, marine, casualty, motor and family retakaful. The controlling stake in the Kuwaiti retakaful company is in line with the strategy of diversification along the current lines of business and geographical spread, allowing product portfolio to be more adaptable to market conditions, Dubai Group said.
Omar M El Quqa, Executive Vice-President, Global Investment House, the holding company which was instrumental in conceptualising 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 sector.” DIIG seeks to tap the immense growth opportunities within the Shariah-compliant investment industry, the statement said.
“This is being achieved by leveraging on its Shariah-based approach, when eyeing private equity and public equity spectrum.”
paid-up capital makes the company the largest global retakaful firm
annual growth in the worldwide takaful industry is one of the fastest expanding segments in global insurance sector
international takaful market is expected to be by 2010, which currently generates premiums of about $3.5bn a year
Dubai Group picks up controlling stake in Kuwait’s Al Fajer Retakaful Insurance