SCOR’s Global P&C CEO Victor Peignet, met the President and Head of High Council of Insurance of Bimeh Markazi Iran Central Insurance, Abdolnaser Hemmati last Sunday in Tehran, to negotiate potential for collaboration.
The meeting follows the removal of sanctions against Iranian companies, which has seen world-leading re/insurers move in to discuss possible deals.
At the meeting, Peignet said the French reinsurer would aim to match Iranian insurer Bimeh Markazi’s requirements before taking further steps towards negotiations.
In turn, Iran’s Hemmati highlighted the long-term history of cooperation between the two entities, saying he hoped France and Iran would be able to expand insurance relations within the framework of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and removal of restrictive conditions rooted in unresolved sanctions against some Iranian companies.”
After the easing of sanctions in July 2015, which opened the country to international trade, negotiations between Iranian and global reinsurers and insurers have moved at a fast pace.
Last year Lloyd’s and broking firm Ed were among the troupe of reinsurers seeking opportunities to renew lines of business with their long-lost Middle Eastern partner.
With gross written premiums at 7.5 billion in 2014, as cited by rating agency A.M. Best, Iran boasts one of the biggest markets in the region making it an attractive opportunity for reinsurers who are facing tough competition amidst pricing declines.
But global re/insurers making steps to move into the region have also demonstrated caution in their attempts to trailblaze routes to business in Iran, especially with the current geopolitical climate bringing increased risk to the newly opened market space.