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Qatar Re profit falls ahead of Bermuda move

Reflecting what it calls a “notoriously deteriorating soft market”, Qatar Re’s half-year profit fell by about $1.5 million, year-on-year, to $13.4 million.

The drop came despite the company boosting its gross written premiums by 42 per cent to $463.6 million, and gross written premiums jumping more than $12 million to $40.4 million during the first six months of the year.

Qatar Re is in the process of redomiciling to Bermuda. Its headquarters are in the Qatar Financial Centre, in Doha, Qatar.

Gunther Saacke, Qatar Re’s chief executive officer, said: “Robustly positioned in the increasingly challenging market environment Qatar Re continues to benefit from a strong and fully committed capital base.

“Our strategy mix is responding well to the sharply increasing volatility in the general economic environment as to the continuously aggravating mismatch of demand and supply that is prevailing especially in the capital intense sectors of our industry.

“The combination of class intimacy, proximity to our business partners and uncompromised focus on the disciplines of managing and controlling risk forms the bedrock of our successful development to date and into the future.”

The company has its portfolio split across three areas, with 20 per cent in commodity and transactional markets, 30 per cent focused on insurance entrepreneurs, including Lloyd’s syndicates, and 50 per cent in “markets where clients have outstanding technical capabilities and require corresponding levels of technical expertise and speciality lines know-how on the part of their reinsurer”.

In a statement, Qatar Re said it was continuing to follow its growth plan and “effectively defying the adverse trends in what has become a notoriously deteriorating soft market”.

Qatar Re was formed in 2009. It has branch offices in Bermuda and Zurich, and has applied to open an office in Dubai. The company has representative offices in London and Singapore. Additionally, through its parent, the Qatar Insurance Company, it has access to a primary licence in Malta.

Qatar Re writes half its business in Europe, 28 per cent in the Americas and 20 per cent in Asia, with the remainder in the Middle East and Africa.

Subject to gaining regulatory approvals from the Bermuda Monetary Authority, the company’s Bermuda-based Antares Reinsurance Ltd will be merged with Qatar Re when it redomiciles, creating a Class 4 reinsurer with a capital base of approximately $500 million.

Qatar Re expects to redomicile in Bermuda in the fourth quarter of this year.

Looking ahead, the company said it will continue with its diversification strategy by line of business and geography and continue to “de-emphasise” standard property and casualty risks, while focusing on “knowledge-intensive speciality (including liability) business”.