YEMEN. Qatar's Doha Insurance is looking at the possibility of expanding into Yemen with strategic partners.
“We are currently going through the process of registering the Qatari-Yemeni insurance company in Yemen. We have already informed the Doha Securities Market about our intention to set up a brand new insurance firm in Sana’a with strategic partners,” Doha Insurance General Manager Bassam Hussein said.
Doha Insurance is now formulating the new company’s statute and articles of association as a prelude to getting the required approvals from the Yemeni authorities. It has had a series of meetings with its strategic partners on the project after a feasibility study.
Hussein said the proposed firm would underwrite both general and life insurance risks.
“Currently, Yemen looks a very promising market. It is mostly untapped. There is a huge potential to grow traditional insurance business in the country because some of the big merchants in the region are either Yemenis or of Yemeni origin. They have a lot to do with marine cargo, especially food and merchandise.
"Major Yemeni accounts are currently insured out of Yemen, especially in the London market. This is really a good market for Doha Insurance and its strategic partners to grow.,” Hussein said in an interview with Gulf Times.
Asked when the Qatari-Yemeni insurance firm would become functional, Hussein said: “Subject to all required approvals, we plan to get going in first half 2009. Doha Insurance will have priority in managing the technical aspects of the company.”
Hussein added: “We are already underwriting significant reinsurance business in the Middle East, especially in the GCC region. Currently, we have no plan to open branches in other countries.”
DSM-listed Doha Insurance’s Qatar-based clients include Qatar Armed Forces, Qatar Airways, New Doha International Airport, QNB, Qatar Museums Authority, Aamal, Qtel, Qatalum, Qatargas, Q-Chem, Kahramaa, Ras Laffan Olefins Company, Halul Offshore Services Company, Nakilat and College of North Atlantic-Qatar.
The move by Doha Insurance to enter Yemen is seen as part of greater consolidation being expected in the insurance industry in the region.