Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region has welcomed Africa Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re) Group.
The business will operate as Africa Re Underwriting Agency Limited (Africa Re) and the DIFC presence is their first office outside Africa.
Over the last 44 years, Africa Re has focused on developing the insurance and reinsurance industry to support African economic development. The business is now expanding, open to select markets in Asia, Brazil and the Middle East.
Africa Re’s areas of expertise include underwriting proportional and non-proportional (marine and non-marine) treaty business, offshore and onshore energy including oil, gas, petrochemicals, power and other utilities, as well as general property.
Africa Re will provide Conventional and Takaful reinsurance capacity to the whole Middle East region from DIFC. The firm has over a decade of providing Retakaful products which are Sharia-compliant and essential for Takaful companies to meet their business requirements.
Takaful sustained growth globally has been supported by growing demand for ethical financial services from Muslims and non-Muslims across the GCC, Southeast Asia and Africa. The GCC Takaful market saw its aggregate net profit surge by 74.3 per cent year-on-year to $414 million in 2019, according to the full-year 2019 results announced by the 47 publicly listed Takaful operators across the region. The UAE represented the second largest market after Saudi Arabia.
DIFC is recognised as the leading reinsurance hub in the MEASA region and now home to more than 100 registered insurance, reinsurance, captive firms and insurance-related entities, including four of the top five global insurance companies. In 2019, the DIFC reported record gross written premiums, up 17.4 per cent year-on-year.
Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority said: “We are pleased to welcome Africa Re to DIFC, especially as they have chosen us for their first office outside the African continent. Offering conventional and Takaful products provides additional choice and we hope Africa Re will work with DIFC and the other firms in our ecosystem to develop the future of the region’s reinsurance sector.
“We are confident that Africa Re will benefit from the increasing demand for capacity in the market, especially in Islamic finance, and use their expertise to shaping the future of the sector.”
Dr Corneille Karekezi, Group Managing Director/CEO of The African Reinsurance group said: “We are pleased to join DIFC and consider it as our first destination outside Africa. As one of the top 50 global reinsurers, Africa Re considers DIFC as a first step to be followed by further steps for other financial hubs across the world. Africa Re may be new to DIFC but has never been new to the Middle East which Africa Re supported for the last 20 years. Africa Re was closely observing the withdrawal of Reinsurance/Retakaful capacities from the Middle East hence a decision was taken to join DIFC in order to be in proximity to our clients and fill such gap of capacity through providing leading opportunities as support to all our longstanding clients in the Middle East.
“We are confident that Africa Re’s existence in DIFC would further enhance both Conventional and Takaful markets, and develop/readjust the Takaful market and Takaful model in the Middle East.”