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07/01/2008 - A.M Best Upgrades SALAMA's Financial Strength and Credit Ratings.

Dubai, January 7, 2008 : SALAMA (Islamic Arab Insurance Company), the world's largest Takaful and Re-Takaful provider, today announced that A.M Best has upgraded the insurer’s FSR (Financial Strength Ratings) to A-(Excellent) from B++ (Good) and upgraded the ICR (issuer credit ratings) to “a-“ from “bbb+”. The outlook for both ratings remains stable. The upgraded rating included BEST Re, the largest re-takaful company, which is one of the major SALAMA subsidiaries.

Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Bin Sagr Al-Nahayan, the Chairman of SALAMA (Islamic Arab Insurance Company) said, “The upgraded ratings of both SALAMA Group and its subsidiary BEST Re comes concurrent with the financial improvements of the Group during 2007 due to the improved investment environment in the GCC countries generally. We expect to continue to improve our earnings in this environment”.

According to Dr. Saleh J. Malaikah, CEO, SALAMA (Islamic Arab Insurance Company), “The upgraded ratings undoubtedly will have a favourable impact on the businesses of both SALAMA and BEST Re and probably will also favourably affect the businesses of the other companies in the group. We are certainly proud of this achievement as these ratings further reinforce the financial strength and credit worthiness of SALAMA Group and its subsidiaries. The credit rating upgrade also reinforces the UAE government’s policies in regulating the market as well as promoting economic growth and ensuring social stability.”

“As part of our strategy for future growth, we have invested AED 165M in developing our insurance products base in UAE and increased the capital of one of our subsidiaries, BEST Re, from US$55M to US$100M. We believe this strategic move has contributed to the overall improvement of our A.M Best credit rating. We are also looking at further expansion plans in the GCC and even the Far East primarily in the Re-Takaful and Takaful business.” Dr. Malaikah further added.

SALAMA enjoys both Arab and international presence. The company embarked from Dubai on its quest for expansion through acquisitions and participation in a number of Takaful and Re-Takaful companies in many Arab and Islamic countries. Among the prominent subsidiaries of SALAMA, is the wholly owned Tunisia-based BEST Re which operates in 70 countries around the globe through its regional offices. SALAMA is also a founder and the largest shareholder in Saudi IAIC for Cooperative insurance, owns 52% in SOSAR of Senegal, has 99% shareholding in the Bahrain-based Takaful and Re-Takaful International Investment Co. (TARIIC) as well owns 51% shareholdings in the Cairo-based Egyptian Saudi Insurance Home (ESIH) in addition to 90% shareholdings in SALAMA Algeria.


About A.M.Best

A.M. Best Company is a worldwide insurance-rating and information agency with more than 100 years of history. The company was founded in 1899 by Alfred M. Best. Offices are located in the United States, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. It is the largest and longest-established company devoted to issuing in-depth reports and financial-strength ratings about insurance organizations. In addition, A.M. Best Company is currently the sole agency providing comprehensive interactive rating services to small and mid-sized community U.S. banks. The company has also begun to issue ratings for hospitals and health care systems.
 

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