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Industry specialists presented their views about growth prospects in the Asian insurance markets in a seminar organized by Saudi Re last week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Qian Zhu, Vice President - Senior Credit Officer, Moody’s Investors Service, highlighted that premium growth in Asia Pacific’s property and casualty (P&C) sector remains robust and continues to exceed that of other regions on the back of the region’s economic growth, increasing wealth, and the need to build infrastructure. P&C insurers are also exploring new growth drivers from non-motor lines, while pricing discipline is becoming increasingly important for defending underwriting margins amid intense competition, she added.

The long-term demand for life insurance in Asia remains strong, underpinned by growing middle class and significant protection gap, citing the example of China where life insurance premium has increased by 16 percent in the first half of 2019, compared to a year earlier, Zhu noted.

  In a recent report, Moody’s highlighted that regulatory changes are raising the bar on capital and internal risk management, and that tightening requirements for capital and asset liability management will strengthen the industry’s capacity to absorb shocks.

 During the seminar, Mr. Ismail Mahbob, a board member in Saudi Re, addressed the upscaling potential of the Takaful business which reached 2.79 RM billion in 2018. He also discussed the product mix and distribution channels as well as the challenges and opportunities in the context of the Malaysian market.

 Also among the speakers, Ahmad Al-Qarishi, Chief Risk Officer & Chief Actuary of Saudi Re, discussed the development of capital modelling and its impact on the insurer decision making and the management of counterparty risk. 

 Kim Hock Liu, Saudi Re Principal Officer of Saudi Re Labuan branch mentioned that the seminar brought together more than forty participants representing regulators, insurers and brokers, and offered an opportunity to actively engage in a dialogue among insurance professionals on industry matters.