Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Turkey has great potential for Islamic insurance, report says

Turkey has significant potential in the sector of Islamic insurance, as participation banks in Turkey held $39 billion in Islamic assets in 2012 and these are expected to grow to $121 billion by 2018, according to the Global Islamic Insurance Forecasts Report prepared by Ernst & Young (EY) for the period 2013-2014.

The report also stressed that Turkey's high potential for Islamic insurance is based upon its young population, along with ongoing regulatory reforms and a government that is willing to promote financial inclusion through participation banking.

However, as only four participation banks currently operate in Turkey, there is a major supply-side constraint, as well as limited legal infrastructure in the Islamic finance sector. In a press statement released on Feb. 28, EY Turkey Audit Partner Seda Hacıoğlu stressed that Turkey does not have a clause on Islamic insurance in its insurance law yet, adding that the lack of a developed Islamic capital market by world standards is the primary obstacle to the spread of Islamic insurance in Turkey.
Another factor negatively affecting Islamic insurance in Turkey is the problematic pricing of this insurance, which leads prices to remain relatively low in the sector. Hacıoğlu said that Islamic insurance is based on making profit at the end of a certain period, stressing that this factor constitutes a threat and weakness in the sector.

According to the EY report, global Islamic Insurance assets had reached $11 billion in 2012, a 16 percent increase compared with previous year. Islamic insurance is widespread in Arab countries, Malaysia, Indonesia and also Europe and the US. “It is estimated that currently over 200 Islamic insurance firms operate in 33 countries, while 51 percent of the participation was from Saudi Arabia, followed by the Asian region with 25 percent, in 2012,” Hacıoğlu stated.

Hacıoğlu predicts that as the variety of Islamic bonds starts to diversify, asset management in the Islamic insurance sector will also begin in Turkey, along with an increased trade volume and interaction with Arab countries.


Source: http://www.todayszaman.com/news-341612-turkey-has-great-potential-for-islamic-insurance-report-says.html

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