Sri Lanka Islamic insurer hit by lack of compliant investments, bad weather

May 05, 2011 (LBO) – Amana Takaful, a Sri Lanka based insurer operating on Islamic Shariah principles said it lost less money in 2010 despite higher claims, but was hamstrung by the lack of compliant instruments to generate higher investment income. In 2010 gross written premium was flat at 1.17 billion rupees. The group had tightened underwriting in its Maldives business, resulting in a drop of revenue to 2.5 million US dollars from 3.2 million a year earlier.

Maldives, which was an agency business, had also received a license from the country’s central bank.

Meanwhile claims rose to 517 million rupees from 476 million a year earlier. Re-insurance recoveries also fell to 27 million rupees from 175 million a year earlier.

In Sri Lanka the insurance industry in general is making underwriting losses and the bottom line is propped by investment income. Industry analysts have warned that lower interest rates will hit the industry and general insurance premium may have rise.

Islamic insurers however lack compliant instruments to investments. Out of 813 million rupees of investments 606 million rupees were in government securities. But under Islamic finance principles interest income cannot be recognized.

The interest income ha