Arqaam Capital places Saudi Re among preferred picks, sets target price at SR11

Arqaam Capital pointed out that Saudi Re’s improved credit rating coupled with the retreat of some of its competitors have availed new market share opportunities.

  
RIYADH — Arqaam Capital maintained a “Buy” recommendation on Saudi Reinsurance Company (Saudi Re), placing the sole national reinsurer amongst its preferred picks in the Saudi insurance sector. It has also revised the target price higher to SR11 per share based on further improvement in margins and more sustainable investment yields.

In a recent report, the DIFC-based investment bank said the Tadawul-listed reinsurer is on track to further improve its underwriting margins, which is in line with its previous expectations. Further, Arqaam Capital expects underwriting margin to reach 4.2% by 2023, supported by further optimization and geographical diversification in Saudi Re’s business portfolio.

Also, Arqaam Capital pointed out that Saudi Re’s improved credit rating coupled with the retreat of some of its competitors have availed new market share opportunities. Despite written premium slowdown by -4% CAGR in the last two years, Saudi Re outperformed peers of globally listed reinsurers with similar market cap and portfolio size, showing improved combined ratios by 5% compared to an 8% worsening for peers.

Saudi Re’s investment returns achieved a growth of 59% in the first nine months of 2019 compared to the same period last year. “We welcome the reinsurer’s decision to increase its share of fixed income holding to 79% in 2019 to ease volatility” Arqaam Capital said.

The stock target price represents an upside of 15% from the market price, which trades below its book value at price to book value of 0.9, a valuation that does not reflect the improved earnings visibility, according to Arqaam Capital.

Arqaam Capital announced the initiation of Saudi Re coverage in June this year, recommending a "Buy" with a target price of SR10.30.

Saudi Re is the first reinsurance company based in Saudi Arabia and specializes reinsurance solutions in engineering, property, marine, casualty, motor, life and health.

 

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