Arab Insurance profits down on cyclone losses

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MANAMA: Arab Insurance Group (Arig) on Thursday posted a more than 20-percent drop in net profits to $23.7 million in 2007 due to losses caused by the cyclone which hit Oman in June. The Bahrain-based firm said its results included a “net impact of $9.2 million from Cyclone Gonu, pointing out the rare natural disaster caused an estimated $800 million of insured losses in Oman. At least 49 people were killed when Gonu hit the coast of Oman while damage losses were estimated at more than three billion dollars. Arig said that its net profits in 2006, which amounted to $30.4 million, had included a non-recurring income of $10.4 million, without clarifying the nature of this income. Investment income for 2007 increased to $53.7 million, up from $38.4 million in 2006, it said. Arig s reinsurance portfolio grew by 50 percent last year thanks to a large life reinsurance book acquired from Scottish Re in mid-year and new non-life business written in the Far East and Sub-Saharan Africa, it said. Established in 1980 by the governments of Kuwait, Libya and the United Arab Emirates, Arig was converted into a public shareholding company at the end of 1997. About 6,000 private and institutional investors hold its stock, with the three governments remaining as major shareholders. Arig s shares are listed in Bahrain, Dubai and Kuwait. Shareholder s equity stood at 298.4 million dollars and the book value per share was $1.40 at the end of December 2007, it said. – AFP

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