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Africa is an Investment-attracting Country – We Seek a Presence at the Arab Level
Published in Amwal Al Ghad on 27 - 05 - 2013

We are the Seventh among 300 Arab companies – To be the lead is our Goal
We have 37% of the market share, with eye-boosting premiums to EGP3 billion in 2015
We awaits EFSA's Approval to offer 4 Upcoming New Products in the Coming Period
Saeed Gabr, Chairman and Managing Director of Misr Life Insurance Company, has unveiled the company's strategy during the upcoming period. This strategy mainly concentrates on providing distinguished insurance services for its clients that can assist in boosting the volume of issuances and decreasing the rates of cancelations in different documents.
In his interview with Amwal Al-Ghad, Gabr asserted that Africa is one of the most attractive markets for investments and investors. However, the company focuses on external expansions in countries where there is a high rate of Egyptian labour in order to meet their insurance needs and provide exceptional services to positively reflect on the Egyptian economy, as the remittances from Egyptians abroad climbed to $ 15 billion in 2013.
Misr Life Insurance Company has a good market share with 37% of the total premiums of the life insurance market. Moreover, the company seeks to raise the volume of its premiums to EGP 3 billion by the end of the fiscal year 2015.
How do you evaluate the life insurance sector in the Egyptian market amid the current political turmoil?
Despite the current incidents, the numbers and indicators showed growth in the insurance market in general and life insurance in particular. The total premiums of life insurance reached EGP 4.8 billion by the end of June 2013 to confirm the extent of insurance awareness among large groups of the Egyptian people.
I expect that the demand on the life insurance will increase during the coming period on account of the dire need of this kind of insurance along with the increasing insurance awareness.
What are the salient features of the company's general strategy in the coming period?
The company is pursuing its focus on customer service in through providing the insurance products via the best marketing ways to meet the demands their needs.
Additionally, the company will train its employees, attract new cadres, and add new products to reach all classes of society. Also it will boost micro-insurance to serve low-income groups. It will try hard to increase its presence across the country, despite the challenges that the company is facing, but it will continue to implement this strategy.
What are the current major challenges and how can they be overcome?
The major challenges are represented in the ailing economic conditions that Egypt has experienced during the past two years on account of the political turmoil. This has made the insurance sector lose large numbers of clients owing to the decreased individual's income in Egyptian society.
But the company is trying hard to overcome this by expansion in offering micro-insurance products, whose premiums have amounted to one billion? of dollars in some countries across the world. Also, the huge development in Egypt's society has made our country confront the ongoing challenges to follow these developments and meet their various needs.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced this month the reactivation of bank insurance. What is Misr Insurance's stance on this decision?
The company is getting ready to compete over banking insurance, given that the company depends on its robust financial solvency, technical possibilities, and skilled cadres, in addition to having branches in all the governorates. There is no doubt that this kind of insurance will assist in making the sector flourish in the upcoming period, as it is an exceptional marketing channel.
How much does the company's market share represent of the total life insurance premiums?
We have a preferential market share inside the Egyptian market, which achieved about 37% out of the total premiums of the life by the end of the last fiscal year. The company's total portfolio amounted to EGP 1.6 billion out of the whole portfolios of the life insurance companies that reached EGP 4.8 billion by the end of the last fiscal year.
What were the company's business results during the third quarter of the current fiscal year?
The company achieved EGP 1.3 billion, the volume of the direct premiums during the first nine months of the fiscal year 2012-2013; attaining 15% growth rate. This is achieved through the individual, collective and health insurances. Meanwhile, the volume of the paid compensations reached EGP 1.2 billion by the end of March, due to the efforts exerted by all the employees in Misr Insurance to increase the new issuances and decrease the cancelations.
What is the volume of the targeted premiums within the coming 3 years?
We aim to achieve EGP 3 billion volume of premiums by the end of the fiscal year 2015-2016, and also through increasing the volume of the premiums 10% by the end of the fiscal year 2012-2013. Nevertheless, the company has so far succeeded in achieving 15% rise in the premiums' volume through implementing an expanding strategy that brought about boosting the volume of issuances.
Will Misr Life Insurance increase expansion in the coming period?
At the beginning of the fiscal year 2013-2014 Misr Life Insurance will open a new branch in Sharm al-Sheikh, where the investments and tourism were highly attracted particularly during the recent period, in addition it is our aspiration to cover all the areas. We are developing at present our branches: 184 throughout the country, through setting a plan ending by 2015 to develop all the branches so as to secure marketing of the company's products.
What are the most salient insurance products that the company is presenting in the market nowadays?
Misr Insurance Company is awaiting the approval of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) on four new insurance products to be presented in the market; represented in pilgrimage documents, Umrah, orphan sponsorship document and ongoing charity document.
Furthermore, the company will provide all the different patterns to cover the collective insurance, whether by getting the bonus, the pension, or a part of either the bonus or the pension, in addition to long-term medical insurance for more than a year.
What are the groups targeted by the company in the coming period?
Misr Insurance's target is to insure small enterprise owners, so as to foster the micro-insurance, which mainly depends on these enterprises.
What is the finance portfolio's rating for the company during the current time?
Misr Life Insurance Company contributes to various economic sectors. For instance, the company has large contributions in the sectors of banking, petroleum, trade and industry, in addition to other sectors relating to the national income, which reached EGP 14 billion by the end of fiscal year 2011-2012. The company, via its investment portfolio board, aims to achieve the highest returns for the investment and security.
Misr Insurance was ranked the seventh on the Arab level. How do you view the company's ranking and will you work on promoting it down the track?
No one can deny that the seventh ranking among 300 Arab insurance companies is commendable, but we are working towards raising this categorisation until we can reach the first position..
Will Misr Life Insurance attend to the credit rating by global agencies in order to achieve that?
The company has already been ranked as BBB by the A.M. Best Company before separating the life and non-life insurance, pursuant to the law. Nowadays, the company is negotiating with Misr Insurance Holding Company for reinstating the credit rating.
Do you think the insurance companies have to seize the opportunity to expand in Africa? And will the company have any expansions outside Egypt in the coming period?
The African market is one of the most attractive markets, but first the risks, profits and the expectant growth rates there have to be studied, and we are contributors in the African Insurance Organisation (AIO) and the African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re). The company is about to open new branches in some Arab countries where Egyptian labour largely exists, especially after stabilising the political and economic conditions in the region, and according to scientific research methods in order not to waste the company's funds. The volume of funds that is transferred to Egypt by Egyptian expats has amounted to EGP 15 billion
Earlier the company had a presence in Africa and some Arab countries before the separation process that represented Al Ahleia Insurance Company's possession for two branches in Gaza and the West Bank. However, they were closed down due to the second Intifada (uprising) in 2001, in addition to the branches of Qatar and Kuwait, which joined Misr Insurance because 99% of their activities were general not life activities. Moreover, the Saudi Arabia branch, which was sold, became the Co-operative Insurance Society Egypt, in which we have shares of no more than 28%.
How do you see the competition between the companies of the public as well as the private sectors in the insurance market?
The competition is a good experience that benefits the clients, whereas each company works on directly satisfying its clients and by various means that pertain to providing very distinguished service and products as well.
What is the impact of enforcing Law No. 118/2008, which concerns separating life and non-life insurance?
There is no doubt that enforcing this law helped the life insurance companies largely by being specialised in the activity. It also helped in increasing the rates of developing the company's products of life insurance during the last period.


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