Munich Re's sights are set east

Munich Re, the world's biggest reinsurance company, is anticipating expansion into Saudi Arabia through its healthcare division by the end of this year.

The German company is expected to earn a licence in the country within several weeks.

A spokeswoman said: "Munich Re is planning a new start-up company in Saudi Arabia for the healthcare business. In general, it is very difficult to get a business licence; it can take several years. But Munich Health is making good progress and we are quite sure to receive the licence this year."

The plans mark a continuation of Munich Re's strategy of expanding into the Middle Eastern market. In Abu Dhabi, it has been working with the government of the United Arab Emirates through a joint venture called Daman.

The agreement there will last until 2019, with the UEA government owning 80 per cent of the company to Munich Re's 20 per cent.

The group intends to set up a new company in Saudi Arabia.

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