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A review of the financial lines market in the MENA region and the potential for growth.

With regulatory zeal spreading across the globe following the economic downturn of the past few years, regulators now have more teeth and are increasingly keen to use them. The result is that companies face an increasing array of liability risks.

The MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region is not immune to these changes—both locally and internationally. In the Middle East, regulatory bodies, such as the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), and the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), have imposed some fairly stringent regulations on financial services companies operating in these territories.  Kuwait also has plans to enhance its regulatory powers.

Internationally, there are a plethora of regulations, such as the U.S. financial regulatory reform Dodd-Frank Act, the U.K. Bribery Act, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the U.S., which impact on companies based in the Middle East.  Although these companies and their directors are waking up to the need for good corporate governance and risk management procedures, the penetration levels for financial lines liability insurance are still very low across the MENA region.

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