Iran’s insurance sector grows by 22%

Regulatory body’s chief outlines industry plans, including adoption of international standards and promoting foreign investment

Iran’s insurance sector grows by 22%

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

The insurance industry of Iran grew by 22% in the year to March 20, 2017, as the insurance penetration rate climbed 0.4% to reach 2.1%, according to the leader of the country’s insurance regulator.
Abdolnasser Hemmati, president of the Central Insurance of Iran, also elaborated on the CII’s objectives in the year ahead, which include the creation of a nationwide natural disaster insurance fund, the ratification of corporate governance rules, the gradual implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and requiring insurers to submit financial statements for the first half of the year, in compliance with new regulations.
The CII also proposed the exemption of insurance products from value added taxes. Hemmati said that insurance premiums will go down by 9% if the tax proposal is accepted by the government.

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Finally, the regulator is taking steps to open up its insurance sector to foreign investment, which will promote competition and drive innovation.
“According to the law, insurance companies can attract foreign investment with foreign firms allowed to own 49% of the local insurers’ shares and we expect this to happen in the current year,” Hemmati told Mehr News Agency.

“Although our insurance penetration rate stands higher than the average in the Middle East and North Africa, it is still below global standards,” he added.

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