140 Foreign Insurers Seeking Iran Entry
EghtesadOnline: The Central Insurance of Iran, the industry’s regulator, has held talks with more than 140 foreign insurance and reinsurance companies that sought to enter the Iranian market since the lifting of the sanctions in January 2016.
In a Tuesday report published on the government’s website, the CII has elaborated on the impact of the recent activity on the country’s insurance sector.
The report indicates that German, British, Swiss, French and Japanese insurance and reinsurance firms have been among the most interested players to gain a foothold in the Iranian insurance sector post-sanctions.
Munich Re, world’s top reinsurance company, has offered to allocate considerable capacity for covering Iranian insurance risks in various categories. A senior official from Reiseschutz Versicherungs AG, a German insurer specialized in travel-health insurance, recently held talks with Iranian officials at the CII headquarters in northern Tehran, according to Financial Tribune.
Japan’s three leading insurers, Tokio Marine, Sompo and Mitsui, have offered risk coverage of up to $200 million, according to the report. “Japanese insurers are currently studying Iranian regulations, as they plan to establish joint companies or buy shares of domestic companies,” the report said.
The three biggest insurers in Japan account for 90% of the country’s market.
As per the law, foreigners are allowed to own 49% of insurance firms on Iran’s mainland and fully own firms in free trade zones.
Officials from two French reinsurance firms, SCOR and NASCO Insurance Group, have also visited CII, the report said.
“NASCO officials got familiar with Iran insurance market and its regulations during their visit,” it added.
Senior officials from UK reinsurance firm, United Insurance Brokers, also traveled to Tehran to study the Iranian market’s potentials.
“UIB’s head expects constructive collaborations in the wake of sanctions relief,” CII report quoted a UIB official as saying.
Switzerland’s Echo Re is also named by CII as one of the major reinsurers interested in entering the Iranian market in the post-sanctions era. “Echo Re also offered high capacity for covering insurance risks in various categories,” the report said.
CII is expecting a delegation of Echo Re officials who plan to hold further talks with Iranian insurance officials.
Back in November, Abdolnasser Hemmati, president of Central Insurance of Iran, travelled to the UK and Germany to hold talks with major insurance and reinsurance firms.
Hemmati held meetings with Inga Beale, Lloyd’s of London CEO, in London. He also called on Victor Peignet, chief executive of the French insurer SCOR. Both firms expressed interest in working with Iran.
The CII chief also had a meeting with Munich Re executives in Munich. Expanding collaboration and attracting direct investments in Iran were reportedly the center of discussions. German insurers expressed interest in investing in Iran’s insurance market and holding training courses for Iranian insurance officials and experts.