AM Best affirms credit ratings for Orient Insurance and Orient Takaful Insurance Egypt

AM Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and the long-term issuer credit ratings of a+ of UAE’s Orient Insurance and its subsidiary Orient Takaful Insurance Company – Egypt, according to a recent statement.

The outlook of these credit ratings is stable.

The ratings reflect Orient’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as very strong, as well as its very strong operating performance, neutral business profile, and appropriate enterprise risk management, the statement read.

Orient’s balance sheet strength is underpinned by risk-adjusted capitalisation at the strongest level, with Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR) scores comfortably above 50 percent at the 99.6 percent confidence level.

“The group’s balance sheet strength is supported by its prudent reserving practices and strong liquidity position. The majority of capital consumption arises from the group’s investment portfolio, which includes a material strategic equity holding that accounted for approximately 22% of total invested assets at year-end 2019.”

The investment continues to create some volatility in Orient’s capital and surplus, owing to fair value movements. However, the rating agency said Orient’s capital buffers to date have been sufficient to absorb these fluctuations. In addition, the group has access to risk mitigation tools to dilute the potential impact of a material adverse fair value movement.

“The group has a track record of consistently outperforming its peers in terms of underwriting and overall profitability, which has been largely free of material fluctuations despite severe competition and regulatory changes in the UAE market.”

AM Best added that Orient continues to demonstrate “very strong operating performance, as evidenced by the excellent five-year (2015-2019) weighted average combined ratio and return on equity of 77.8 percent and 13.0 percent, respectively.”

It added it expects that Orient’s prudent approach to risk selection and focus on profitability over top-line growth will support continued strong technical performance.

Orient’s solid business profile in the UAE, derived from its strong brand and control over its distribution network, assisted the group in maintaining a leading market position.

“Orient’s business profile continues to benefit from its multichannel distribution network and affiliation with the Al-Futtaim group. AM Best expects Orient to increase its penetration in the UAE’s life insurance segment and continue to develop its regional presence in line with the Al-Futtaim group’s expansion where feasible.”

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