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Munich Re has received a license from the Dubai Financial Services Authority to operate a reinsurance unit from the Dubai International Financial Center, which serves as a regional reinsurance hub for the Middle East and Africa region.
Munich Re Underwriting Agents (DIFC) Ltd., a reinsurance subsidiary of Munich Re, will primarily focus on health reinsurance. It is the first of the world's leading reinsurers to set up an operation at the DIFC, said the financial center in a statement.
The reinsurer will offer reinsurance services and risk management solutions through a "a holistic one-stop shop" approach for governments, government institutions, insurance companies, self-funded schemes and other clients in the health care markets in the Middle East and Africa, said Frank Mayer, chief executive of Munich Re Underwriting Agents (DIFC).
Munich Re Underwriting Agents (DIFC), part of Munich Re of Malta Holding Ltd., will operate under two broker arrangements for Munich Re in Munich and Munich Re of Malta.
"Munich Re's decision to establish their offices in DIFC as a regional hub is timely given the region's increasing demand for quality and affordable health care," said Abdulla Al Awar, CEO of the DIFC, in a statement.
The region's health reinsurance sector is "rather underdeveloped, offering Munich Re a vantage point to service the Middle East and Africa," said Marwan Lutfi, deputy CEO and head of business development at DIFC.
Munich Health is one of three business segments within Munich Re, alongside primary insurance and reinsurance. It has operations in North America, South America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. In the 2008 financial year, Munich Health reported premium income of 2.7 billion euros (US$3.4 billion).
Munich Re currently has a Best's Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior).
(By Iris Lai, Hong Kong bureau manager: Iris.Lai@ambest.com)