Leaders and outsiders of Uzbek insurance market: 1Q overview

The aggregate premium revenue and premium revenue per one insurance contract are important indicators of an insurance company’s performance.

The insurers of Uzbekistan collected the total of over 19.7 billion soums in premium revenue in the first quarter of this year. The payouts for the period made up 1.5 billion soums.

Thus, aggregate premium revenue increased by nearly 71% compared to 2006, while the level payouts practically has not changed. The engine of growth in premium revenue was increased interest in voluntary personal and property insurance (total premiums collected – up by 70% and 89% respectively). The structure of the aggregate premium revenue has slightly changed: the segment of voluntary property insurance grew by over 7%, the segments of voluntary personal insurance and obligatory insurance have not suffered major changes, and the segment of voluntary liability insurance has dropped nearly twice.

During the reporting period the majority of payouts were made on voluntary property insurance; there are practically no unprofitable types of insurance in the portfolios of Uzbek companies. The average loss ratio for the reporting period made up 7.7% (12.9% last year).

The insurance market of Uzbekistan continues to grow. This is illustrated by, for instance, the size of capitals of its participants. The aggregate charter capital of insurance organizations of Uzbekistan exceeded US$66.8 million and 17.3 billion soums at the end of 1st quarter of 2007 (US$63.7 million and 15.7 billion soums at the end of 1Q 2006). The capital concentration of the market is as follows: over 1 billion soums – 44% of all companies; 500 million soums-1 billion soums – 32%; 100 million-500 million soums – 24%. Meanwhile it is worth noting that the number of companies with the capital below 500 million soums continues to decrease steadily through their progression to the first and second groups (36% in 1Q 2006).

The size of the average charter capital of insurance companies exceeded 789 million soums at the end of the 1Q 2007. This illustrates an increase of 10% compared to 2006 results. This allows us to assume that the charter capitals of the Uzbek insurers will continue to grow over the next several years until they reach the level of international norms and standards.

The insurance companies operating on the territory of Uzbekistan differ in the scale of their activity. The leaders of the market collect billions of soums in insurance premiums, while outsiders’ revenue is limited to tens of millions. At the same time, the performance of the domestic insurance companies is largely determined by certain direct and indirect factors, such as different environmental conditions, management and marketing capacity, staff qualifications and professionalism, as well as ability to adapt to market conditions. Of 27 licensed insurers, 25 companies operated during the reporting period, 2 companies at going through the process of self-liquidation. Nearly all market participants conduct operations with general insurance, and even Uzbekinvest Hayot licensed to conduct life insurance operations, signs contracts mainly on first and second classes of general insurance.

The absolute leader of the first quarter of this year is Uzbekinvest National Export and Import Insurance Company, which currently controls 43% of the market.

Among the companies fully or partially owned by the state, particularly successful were UzbekInvest with 87% increase in premium revenue. The shares of two other state-owned companies decreased by 28% (UzAgroSugurta) and 30% (Kafolat).

The market share of Transinsurance Joint Reinsurance Company increased by the record-breaking 367%, which is explained by the change in its positioning. The company now provides reinsurance services only.

Among the private market participants, a steady growth dynamics is being illustrated by Asia Inshurance Company. Among other successful market participants are Kapital Sugurta (market share up by 200%) and Asko-Vostok (up by 117%). We hope the companies keep up the positive performance and remain in the top 10 list in the future. Alskom, although observed a slight decline in market share (down 8%) remains a regular member of the top 10 list.

During the reporting period the largest insurance payouts were made by UzAgrosugurta (47.7% of all payouts for the 1Q 2007), which is explained by the companies specialization, and the location in the country where agricultural risks are high.

The fact that some of the leaders in the collection of premiums are also the leaders in payouts is possible and justified, however the results being demonstrated by some of the other companies illustrate a misbalance in their insurance portfolios. High loss ratios of the companies listed in the table contrasts against the average loss ratio for the market of 7.7%.

Unfortunately, one of the oldest players in the insurance market of Uzbekistan, AJSK Company took up a firm position among the outsiders of the insurance market of Uzbekistan. In the first quarter of this year, the company’s premium revenue dropped more than 8 times compared to the same period of the previous year.

The management of Parvina-Sugurta Insurance Company is putting heroic efforts to leave the group of outsiders – its premium revenue increased 8 times compared to the 1Q 2006.

The positive performance of the Fotis Sugurta Insurance Company, which entered the market in 2005, also allows us to assume that the company will not stay long in the group of outsiders. On the other hand, poor results of other members of the group pose a serious task for their management. In general it should be noted that they still have another three quarters to improve performance, and finish the year positively.

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