Qatar Insurance Says Abu Dhabi License Process Is Still Underway

  • MENA CEO says Qatar Insurance expects decision by end Sept.
  • Company said earlier it will have to close Abu Dhabi branch

Qatar Insurance Co. still has an active license in Abu Dhabi and the renewal process is underway, said Salem Khalaf Al-Mannai, chief executive officer for the Middle East and North Africa region.

"We are facing unusual delay in the process from Abu Dhabi authorities," he said in Doha. A final decision is expected by the end of September.

Earlier today, the Doha-based company said in a statement to the Qatar stock exchange that "due to the prevailing political events in the region, it was not possible to renew the business license" for its branch in Abu Dhabi. The company said it will have to close the branch, which has been engaged in insurance business since 2002, and that its underwriting gross premium in the market was about 110 million riyals ($30 million) a year.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and transport links with Qatar on June 5, accusing the nation of supporting Sunni extremist groups and Iranian-backed militants. Qatar has repeatedly denied the charges. Some banks in those countries have since cut their exposure to Qatar.

Qatar Insurance shares dropped as much as 4.6 percent, the most in more than two months. The benchmark QE Index fell 1 percent, declining for the 11th consecutive day.

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