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Dubai’s Takaful Emarat expects to post Q1 profit

Dubai: Dubai-based Islamic insurer Takaful Emarat expects to post a profit for the first quarter of this year and an annual profit in 2014 for the first time since it was founded in 2008, its chief executive said.

“We will be moving from red to green,” Wael Abdul Razzaq Al Sherif, who was appointed in last November, told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference on Islamic insurance in Dubai.

Sherif said he could not disclose the size of the expected profit because of listing rules, and he did not specify when the first-quarter announcement would be made.

The company’s past financial statements, posted on the Dubai Financial Market website, show it last reported a quarterly profit in the first quarter of 2009, when it made Dh105,064 ($28,628).

Takaful Emarat posted a Dh12.06 million loss in the six months to last June 30, according to the latest financial statement on the website.

The company has finished a major restructuring which included focusing on more profitable investments and reducing expenses in line with its level of premiums, Sherif said.

Last November, Dubai’s ruler approved a law requiring all employers in the emirate to purchase health insurance for their expatriate staff, a move expected to boost health care spending by its 2.2 million residents considerably. Sherif noted that Takaful Emarat would be competing for this business.

In a report published in February, Moody’s Investors Service said the law would encourage an acceleration of premium growth among health care insurers in Dubai, but added that strict regulations could limit the positive impact on insurers’ profits.

Takaful Emarat shares were up 7 per cent year-to-date at the close on Monday, against a 41 per cent jump for the main Dubai stock index.