AHLI UNITED BANK AND LEGAL & GENERAL GROUP SIGN MOU TO ESTABLISH A REGIONAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY
Ahli United Bank BSC today (3rd April 2008) announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UK-based Legal & General Group Plc to set up a new joint venture company, subject to necessary regulatory and statutory approvals. The joint venture will initially offer a range of takaful life and health insurance products and pension plans to retail and corporate customers in the Gulf region.
The joint venture, in which Ahli United Bank and Legal & General would both initially hold a 50% stake, will be headquartered in Bahrain and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain. It will have an authorized capital of US$ 200 million of which US$ 25 million will be initially issued and paid up. Legal & General Assurance Society, part of Legal & General Group Plc, established in 1836, is AA+ rated by Standard and Poor’s and headquartered in London. Legal & General has £297 billion in funds under management (as at 31 December 2007) and over 5.7 million customers in the UK. The Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange, is a FTSE 50 company, and has international operations in France, Netherlands, USA and India.
Fahad Al Rajaan, Chairman, Ahli United Bank, said: “We are pleased to have entered into this Memorandum of Understanding with Legal & General whose experience in the insurance sector will provide the technical and operational expertise for the joint venture company. Coupled with Ahli United Bank’s expanding regional distribution network the joint venture will provide the framework to cater for the increasing and diversified insurance needs within the Gulf region.
“Ahli United Bank aims to become a leading pan-Gulf-Middle Eastern provider of comprehensive financial services. The joint venture represents an important step forward in further diversifying Ahli United Bank’s business profile and offerings, besides meeting its strategic objective of developing a diversified financial services model centred on commercial banking, investment banking, private banking, asset management and life insurance with an enhanced Shari’a compliant business focus and contribution.”
The new joint venture company, subject to regulatory and statutory consents, expects to launch its operations in Bahrain later this year, and to extend its product offering in the region in a phased manner.