AXA, NU to merge Gulf businesses

Merger committed to better products and increased recruitment of nationals.

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By  Mark Johnson Published  December 23, 2004

AXA Insurance and Norwich Union (ME) are set to combine their Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) operations into a new company called AXA Gulf. Moreover, the newly combined group will then emerge as a joint venture with the Kanoo Group, in what could be seen as a trend towards consolidation within the across the Gulf states. With a premium income of more than US$100m it will be the largest international insurance company in the region, and will meet new criteria recently enforced by Saudi Arabia, which insists that only insurance companies with a capital base of at least US$100m will be permitted to operate within the Kingdom. "The new company will be committed to developing superior insurance expertise among its employees and will pursue an active policy of recruitment, training and career progression for GCC nationals," said Didier Boussemart, regional director at AXA. "We plan to deliver on our promise as a leading GCC insurer by offering both high-quality products and high-quality service. The company will maintain its network of offices in Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, through an extensive network of 10 offices," he added. "The joining of local operations of both companies comprises an excellent match between two leading local insurers. Both operations enjoy similar philosophies in their business dealings and customer approach," said Iain Reid, regional director of Norwich Union Middle East.

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