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OMAN - Economy

AbdulAziz Mohammed Al Balushi

Group CEO, Oman International Development and Investment Company SAOG (OMINVEST)

Bio

AbdulAziz Mohammed Al Balushi is the Group CEO of OMINVEST. With over 34 years of professional experience, he has extensive and in-depth knowledge of the global financial services industry. Al Balushi holds a master’s of science degree in finance from the University of Strathclyde (UK) and is a Fellow of Chartered Institute of Bankers (UK). He served as an Advisory Board Member in the college of Agriculture and Marine Services at Sultan Qaboos University. Currently, AbdulAziz is the Deputy Chairman of Jabreen International Development Company SAOC and a board member at Oman Arab Bank SAOG, National Finance Company SAOG, and National Life and General Insurance SAOG.

"OMINVEST’s investment philosophy has always been to support and enable our portfolio companies to thrive and grow."
OMNIVEST’s subsidiary NLGIC has come together with RSA Middle East in a trailblazing partnership that will result in great success for both parties in the coming decades.
Can you elaborate on the give us a summary on the NLGIC and RSA Middle East deal?

In mid-2022, National Life & General Insurance Company SAOG (NLGIC)—a flagship insurance subsidiary of Oman International Development and Investment Company SAOG (OMINVEST)—acquired 100% shareholding in Royal & Sun Alliance (RSA) Middle East. The transaction was executed in two parts: acquiring around 50% shareholding in RSA Middle East from Sun Alliance Insurance Overseas LTD (SAIO), a fully owned entity of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Limited; and exchanging the remaining shares of RSA Middle East, owned by reputable Saudi shareholders, with new issued NLGIC shares, thus making the Saudi shareholders collectively the second-largest shareholders in NLGIC after OMINVEST. NLGIC has a strategic direction to expand its operations and products line in the GCC, and hence we were looking for a strong insurance player with whom we can expand our presence and become the insurance company of choice in the region. RSA Middle East has been an excellent choice for that.

What is the significance of this transaction and its impact on both companies?

We considered this transaction based on a deep understanding of RSA’s business legacy and capabilities, and on efficient utilization of NLGIC’s knowhow and financial position, to transform the combined entity into a larger, stronger, and more competitive regional insurance player emerging from the Sultanate of Oman. NLGIC is the market leader and the largest insurance company in Oman with branches in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Kuwait and a strong presence in Health insurance in the UAE. RSA Middle East is a leading provider of property and casualty insurance in the Middle East, operating in Oman, KSA, Bahrain, and the UAE. It offers solutions for both commercial and retail clients, across a range of product lines, including motor, property, medical, SMEs as well as tailored solutions for large corporates. We strongly believe this transaction is bound for tremendous fruitful success. As part of NLGIC’s growth strategy, this will help the combined entity reach new markets and seek top-line growth opportunities, while expanding customer reach in the region. It will also create value for all stakeholders and bring together potential synergies between both companies to provide a wider range of insurance products and services to both individual and corporate customers and fuel business growth. Together, NLGIC and RSA will prove to be even stronger, not only in matter of offerings to the market but also from a solvency and regulatory point of view. This will create a well-diversified powerful insurance player in the region operating in Oman, KSA, UAE, Kuwait, and Bahrain as well as planned expansion for Qatar. Post completion of the transaction, AM Best was upgraded the Financial Strength Rating of NLGIC. The ratings reflect NLGIC’s balance sheet strength, which the rating agency assesses as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management. In AM Best’s view, the acquisition has strengthened NLGIC’s business profile, providing both product and geographical diversification, as well as consolidating NLGIC position in its existing markets.

How does OMINVEST’s investment philosophy tie into this transaction?

OMINVEST’s investment philosophy has always been to support and enable our portfolio companies to thrive and grow. We have a strong track record of building businesses in the insurance sector and our largest insurance subsidiary, NLGIC, has remarkably grown locally and regionally over the years. Its success is attributable to the significant capital injection from OMINVEST, prudent oversight by its board, and smart business strategies implemented by the management. Aligning with our philosophy, we endeavor to work closely with our companies’ boards and management teams to identify, screen, and capitalize on growth opportunities, which is what we’ve done for this transaction. We look forward to a brighter and stronger future for our insurance business, having much bigger impact across the region.

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