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Converium to write Shariah-compliant reinsurance


ZUG, Switzerland—Converium Holding Ltd., is to write international 'retakaful' —Islamic reinsurance — business in South and Southeast Asia through its Malaysian office.

The Zug, Switzerland-based reinsurer has obtained regulatory approval from the Labuan Offshore Financial Services Authority in Malaysia to provide retakaful services, where insurance policies are written to Islamic principles.

According to Converium, global premiums for the takaful insurance market in 2005 were an estimated $1.5 billion.

The market is expected to develop substantially in the coming years, with demand for retakaful products set to increase, the reinsurer said in a statement.

Benjamin Gentsch, Converium's executive vice-president for specialty lines, said: "We look forward to offering our clients in the Islamic world reinsurance solutions, which are Shariah (Islamic law)-compliant. Our decision to write retakaful business demonstrates our strong commitment to serve fast growing markets, with innovative and culturally-sensitive products."