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"Iran Insurance Report Q2 2011" is now available at Fast Market Research

New Financial Services market report from Business Monitor International: "Iran Insurance Report Q2 2011"

 
PRLog - Apr. 22, 2011 - Key Insights On Iran's Insurance Sector

The insurance sector in Iran is estimated to write over US$5,000mn in premiums annually - equal to around 1.2% of GDP - and is home to several of the largest non-life companies in the Middle East. However, the challenges that must be overcome if Iran's insurance sector is to reach its full potential are large and numerous, and would be so even if Iran were not subject to international sanctions.

Subsidy cuts and international sanctions have resulted in BMI estimating real GDP growth will average just 2.0% through to FY15/16. Private consumption will decrease as a result of subsidy cuts, which have eroded consumers' purchasing power. Foreign investment into the country has also halted due to international sanctions. Over the medium-to-long term, however, we expect private consumption to recover, driven by Iran's large population, which will pull up real GDP growth.

Although Iran's consumer price inflation averaged 10.2% year-on-year (y-o-y) over the first eight months of FY10/11, BMI forecasts markedly higher inflation over the medium term as the government started to gradually phase out gasoline and other subsidies starting in December. On top of the subsidy cuts, Tehran has attempted to stem inflation by creating price ceilings on a wide range of goods and services, which allow producers to pass on only a fraction of their cost increases to consumers. BMI expects consumer price and producer price inflation to average at least 20% y-o-y in 2011.

High inflation distorts the impact of prices and complicates competition by companies (and insurers) on the basis of price. Furthermore, it shortens the perspective of economic actors. For Iran, one consequence has been the non-development of life insurance, which by its nature involves long-term relationships between underwriters and clients. The history of persistent high inflation sets Iran apart from all other countries in the Middle East whose insurance sectors are profiled by BMI.

As we have discussed in previous reports, Iran is moving gradually towards the liberalisation of financial services. About 75% of the market (in terms of gross written premiums) is accounted for by the four large, state-owned insurers: Bimeh Iran, Bimeh Asia, Bimeh Alborz and Bimeh Dana. The remainder includes 16 relatively new private sector companies, including Bimeh Moallem, Bimeh Parsian, Bimeh Karafarin and Bimeh Razi. In 2010, Bimeh Asia and Bimeh Alborz were privatised and are now listed companies. Bimeh Dana is due to be privatised. By the end of 2011, private sector companies should account for about 40% of gross written premiums but as yet there are no plans for the privatisation of Bimeh Iran.

In this report we continue to provide a breakdown of the insurance sector by line from the point of view of the regulator. In Iran in 2008/09, comprehensive motor insurance (presumably compulsory third-party motor liability, CTPML) was the largest line in the non-life segment, accounting for about half of gross written premiums. Other major lines included motor (CASCO), health, fire and liability insurance.

We have been able to ensure that the report includes actual data for the year through to March 2010 (this coincides with the Iranian year 1388). For purposes of comparison with data from other countries, we have generally described the period as '2009'. For the year through to March 2011 ('2010'), we estimate total premiums of IRR52,418,078mn. This includes non-life premiums of IRR49,683,834mn and life premiums of IRR2,734,244mn. In terms of the growth drivers that underpin our forecasts, we forecast non-life penetration to rise from 1.18% of GDP in 2010 to 1.28% by 2015. We expect that life density will remain minimal, increasing from less than US$4 per capital to US$7 over the same period. BMI's proprietary Insurance Business Environment Rating for Iran is 33.6.

Issues To Watch

Liberalisation

For most of the last five years, Iran's non-life insurance sector has been growing in real terms. Year after year, the increase in premiums was slightly greater than the overall level of inflation, which was typically 20-25% per annum. The latest available annual report from Parsian Insurance, for the year ending March 2010, makes it clear that the market has stopped growing in real terms. The proximate cause of this is liberalisation, which has permitted market protagonists to lower their prices on a number of nonlife lines. However, the problem has been exacerbated by some insurance companies lowering prices to levels that are uneconomical.

Political Risk

BMI forecasts low average real economic growth of 2.0% for Iran through to 2015/16 due to international sanctions and subsidy cuts.

Government Subsidies

Reduction in government subsidies (on gasoline, etc) is underway, although it is not sufficient to move towards balanced budgets and lower inflation. Iran's insurance sector will remain stunted while inflation is still a problem.

International Activities

The isolation of Iranian insurance companies from the global economy is not total. Bimeh Iran has minor operations in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and it may be able to expand these over the medium term.

For more information or to purchase this report, go to:
-  http://www.fastmr.com/prod/149639_iran_insurance_report_q...

About Business Monitor International

Business Monitor International (BMI) offers a comprehensive range of products and services designed to help senior executives, analysts and researchers assess and better manage operating risks, and exploit business opportunities, across 175 markets.  BMI offers three main areas of expertise: Country Risk BMI's country risk and macroeconomic forecast portfolio includes weekly financial market reports, monthly regional Monitors, and in-depth quarterly Business Forecast Reports.  Industry Analysis BMI covers a total of 17 industry verticals through a portfolio of services, including in-depth quarterly Country Forecast Reports.  View more research from Business Monitor International at http://www.fastmr.com/catalog/publishers.aspx?pubid=1010

About Fast Market Research

Fast Market Research is an online aggregator and distributor of market research and business information. We represent the world's top research publishers and analysts and provide quick and easy access to the best competitive intelligence available.

For more information about these or related research reports, please visit our website at http://www.fastmr.com or call us at 1.800.844.8156.

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Fast Market Research is an online aggregator and distributor of market research and business information. We represent the world's top research publishers and analysts and provide quick and easy access to the best competitive intelligence available.

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