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Competition is fierce in insurance markets in the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, according to a report released Monday by Standard & Poor’s Corp.
In addition, the global economic slowdown is leading to sluggish growth for insurers in the council, which is comprised of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The region has an abundance of small players, often with little underwriting expertise, according to the report, “Maturing GCC Markets Feel the Pinch as Growth Slows and Competition Intensifies.”
The number of midsize insurers is declining, leaving a split in the region between large and small insurance companies, according to the S&P analysis.
Reinsurers that are seeking growth are casting their nets wider than in the past.