Qatar Insurance Company (QIC), the leading insurer in Qatar and the Middle East North African (MENA) region announced its financial results for the first half of 2020. Following a meeting presided over by Sheikh Khalid bin Mohammed bin Ali Al-Thani, Chairman and Managing Director, QIC’s Board of Directors approved the Group’s H1 2020 financial results. The first half of 2020 was adversely impacted by the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on global economies and financial markets. Despite these challenging market conditions, QIC further expanded its book of business by growing its Gross Written Premium by 13% to QAR 7.2 billion. Furthermore, QIC successfully issued a USD 300 million perpetual subordinated Tier 2 capital notes in the second quarter of 2020.
QIC registered a double-digit year-on-year growth in premium of 13% to QAR 7.2 billion for H1 2020 compared to QAR 6.4 billion in H1 2019. The growth was predominately driven by the rate hardening in select international insurance markets and continued expansion of QIC’s domestic personal lines business with stable underwriting profits. However, the underwriting performance of QIC’s international carriers, namely, Qatar Re, Antares, QIC Europe Limited (QEL) and its Gibraltar based carriers was impacted by the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown imposed on certain markets.
Despite prevailing headwinds, QIC’s international carriers continued the successful realignment of its book of business by expanding in select low volatile businesses while de-risking its exposure to high severity classes. Today QIC’s international business continues to account for 75% of the Group’s total Gross Written Premiums, contributing significantly to the Group’s diversification of its underwriting footprint.
In H1 2020, QIC’s domestic and MENA operations continued to drive forward the digitization of its personal lines business, cementing its position in the regional markets. In fact, during the imposed lockdown, QIC’s personal insurance division – QIC Insured and QIC’s Life & Medical insurance arm, QLM Life & Medical Insurance Co. capitalized on its digital capabilities and continued to manage distribution of its products and claims handling services through its sophisticated digital platforms. The move was further supported by strong demand for online products & services, as reflected by the company’s double-digit growth in its sales volume.
In light of the prevailing turbulence in global financial markets, QIC’s investment portfolio achieved a net investment result of QAR 152 million in H1 2020 compared to QAR 464 million in H1 2019.
During the reporting period, QIC’s continued endeavour towards process efficiencies and automation showed results as the Group further improved its already exceptional operational efficiency with a healthy administrative expense ratio for its core operations of 5.7% during the first half of 2020 as compared to 6.1% in H1 2019. Overall, the consolidated net loss of the Group for H1 2020 stood at QAR 198 million.
In May 2020, QIC Group successfully issued USD 300 million perpetual subordinated Tier 2 capital notes. While offering excellent security to policyholders, the new issuance further strengthened the Group’s robust capital position and reinforced its efficient capital structure. Despite the current financial market turbulences, the interest from investors in the perpetual notes issuance was outstanding, demonstrating the level of confidence investors have in the QIC Group.
As part of its endeavour to contribute towards realising the Qatar National Vision 2030, QIC Group completed a knowledge exchange programme with a leading Japanese insurance company Sompo Japan Insurance Inc. Sompo Japan Insurance sent its staff to QIC Headquarters in Doha to enhance their technical skills and to exchange experiences and best practices.
Commenting on the financial performance for H1 2020, Mr. Khalifa Abdulla Turki Al Subaey, Group President of QIC Group stated, “QIC Group benefits from its very strong and robust risk-based capital adequacy in combination with the scale and diversification of our business portfolio. We are encouraged by the resilience that the QIC Group demonstrated in these unprecedented times. While consumers and businesses in most of the key economies worldwide were in lockdown, we accomplished to grow our book of business by applying the set underwriting discipline and using efficiently our strong digital platforms. Furthermore, we successfully issued USD 300 million perpetual notes in a very volatile market environment. Both are a testament to the strengths of our brand and the confidence of our clients and investors in QIC Group.”