Exclusive – Overseas investment portfolio for insurance companies is set to increase by 5%

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هذه الصفحة متوفرة بهذه اللغة: العربية

27 August 2020

MUSCAT (WAF)- Oman’s Capital Market Authority (CMA) has approved new a regulation for insurance companies. Which will allow these companies to invest up to 30% of their investment portfolio abroad, Ahmed bin Ali Al-Maamari, Vice President for the Insurance Sector at CMA, told WAF News.

The new regulation, approved by CMA’s board of directors and in the process to get a nod from other concerned authorities, seeks to achieve a balance in directing the companies’ funds to invest at least 70% of the sector’s portfolio in Oman, Al-Maamari said. A step which will enable insurance companies “to explore the investment opportunities available outside the Sultanate by no more than 30%.”

According to the Insurance Sector Indicators Report 2018-2019 issued by CMA, the insurance sector investments exceeded 754 million Omani Rials ($1.96) in 2019, an increase of 22% compared to 2018 when it stood at 618 million Omani Rials ($1.6 billion). The average growth of sector investments has reached 6% over the past five years.

The same report states that the return on insurance companies’ investments increased by 29% between 2018 and 2019, to reach RO23.9 million, compared to RO18.5 million in 2018.

The sector’s investment regulation, currently followed by the insurance companies, was issued in 2007. Al-Maamari added that the new draft-regulation was viewed and debated by the sector’s players for feedback and to keep all parties engaged.

According to the Omani official, it takes into account the special investment requirements by Takaful insurance companies that acquire a share of up to 12% of the total insurance portfolio. The changes will allow these players to invest in Sharia-compliant investment tools locally and abroad.

The new regulation sets the quota for each investment vessel in the sector’s investment portfolio “in a manner that ensures the diversification and distribution of assets adequately so that the companies can respond efficiently to changes in the financial markets,” al-Maamari told WAF.

The new regulation obligates insurance companies to provide an investment policy approved by their boards of directors annually. The policy must cover the company’s plans to manage risks and the system and the level of risk appetite. Each company will produce analysis and evaluation of the risks and possible results for each and the correlation between internal risks and external factors.

The companies will have to show their abilities to meet their obligations, and that the adequacy of its capital will not be affected by these risks.

Al-Maamari believes that the new regulation will strengthen the financial position of the sector, will boost its contribution to Oman’s economy, and will enable the growth of the health services sector, which is directly related to the Sultanate’s drive to implement mandatory health insurance.