| ABU DHABI
ABU DHABI Feb 27 A new Islamic insurer, backed
by top Abu Dhabi entities, will be listed on the UAE capital's
bourse by March or April, a senior official at one of its
backers said on Sunday.
Wataniya Takaful plans to raise 82.5 million UAE dirhams
($22.47 million), or 55 percent of its capital, through an
initial public offering. It will have capital of 150 million
dirhams to provide Islamic insurance.
"The Wataniya IPO could be in March or April latest," Aref
al Khouri, managing director of the Islamic banking division of
National Bank of Abu Dhabi NBAD.AD said at an Islamic forum in
The venture is backed by National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Abu
Dhabi National Insurance Co. ADNI.AD -- each with a 35 percent
stake -- while Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. TAQA.AD and Aldar
Properties ALDR.AD will hold 15 percent each in the founder's
"There is a huge demand for sharia-compliant insurance
products with very little available in the market," Khouri told
Reuters later. "We see good potential."
The UAE with a population of around 8 million has 59
insurance companies and seven takaful providers.
Takaful works like mutual insurance, but there is a clear
segregation of the assets owned by members and those owned by
the insurer. Islamic insurers keep away from investments in
risky assets and prefer fixed income products for parking their
(Reporting by Stanley Carvalho; Editing by Amran Abocar)