Chairman's statement

... It must be acknowledged that the entire world is in a financial crisis. So, don't lose heart at this moment; we need to be more aware and take every measure to protect ourselves.

Chairman, Nitol Insurance Company Limited

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh.

At the very outset, on behalf of the Board of Directors and as a Founder and Chairman of the Nitol Insurance Company Limited (NICL) I would like to express my heartiest welcome to all the valued stakeholders of Nitol Insurance Company Limited. I do also express my thanks and gratitude to all for your unconditional trust and amazing support to us, which reduces an inspiration in my mind towards a sustainable and resilient future.

When the People of Bangladesh was trying to recuperate from the aftermath of Covid 19, the onset of the Russia -Ukraine war in Europe added a new dimension of uncertainty in 2023. Since the onset of the Russia-Ukraine war, the clock of inflation is ticking up, commodity prices are soaring at a bull and overall supply-chain hampered the world order. Almost every country was feeling the heat and Bangladesh was no exception. Spillover effect of this war has created one of the toughest economic conditions for Bangladesh through an acute energy crisis impacting negative exports in RMG, supply chain disruptions and remittances flow. If the dispute between Ukraine and Russia continues for a long time and spreads across Europe. In that case, the country's garment industry could be threatened as 64% of the country's garment exports, and 58% of the total exports are destined for the European market. According to the Export Promotion Bureau, various goods worth $466.7 million were imported from Russia to Bangladesh in 2020-21. As a result, many of the businesses are being grounded by this catastrophic effect. This situation made all economic indicators look gloomy. The policy response was obvious but for an import-dependent country like Bangladesh, it was hard to choose.

In light of the current scenario, to tackle these record-breaking hits, the government has rationalized spending and prioritized more sustainability of economic growth and resilience. To revamp, it is also essential for an early and peaceful resolution to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Bangladesh mainly imports wheat, edible oil, fertilizers and chemicals, steel or aluminum, and many more from Russia. Russia and Ukraine export 29 percent of the world's wheat, 19 percent of corn, and 80 percent of sunflower oil. As the war has made it difficult to import these essential commodities, the prices of these commodities in the world market have also increased.

Bangladesh's economy is going through difficult times as multiple crises bite. High inflation, fuel crisis, fragile banking sector, trade deficit and depleting foreign exchange reserves have weakened the macroeconomic stability of the country. Inflation reached 8.9 per cent in October 2022, compared to 5.7 per cent in October 2021. This is higher than the 5.6 per cent projected by the government for the 2022-23 financial year. Bangladeshi policymakers raised petrol prices by 51.2 percent and diesel prices by 42.5 percent in August 2022, adding to the existing struggles of low- and fixed-income households. On 21 November 2022, the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission also increased the bulk electricity tariff by 19.9 percent. This hike is likely to exacerbate the cost of living crisis.

Although in the last three years due to various disasters in the world, the Global Business Sector was severely affected. Instead of that; the total gross premium income of non-life private sector insurance companies increased from Tk. 21,038 million in 2021 to Tk. 22,670 million in 2022 with a growth rate of 7.76% according to the statistics of Bangladesh Insurance Association (BIA).

Basically the Non-life insurance companies business deal with three segments - Properties, Marine and Motor. But due to dollar shortage the LC opening has slowed which hampered insurance business.

A major shock has come from the sharp decline in automobile insurance as third party insurance. According to Motor Vehicles Ordinance 1983, third party insurance was mandatory but it is not mandatory under the existing Road Transport Act 2018. As a result, motor insurance became largely non-existent in the country. Premium income from this sector has come down drastically after the withdrawal of insurance. We are losing our premium income and the government is also losing revenue and car users' security.

Insurance business also depends on the RMG sector but reduction in premium rate directly affects our insurance business. Thus, the insurance company lost a significant business.

Even after the trauma of covid-19 and the war in Ukraine, our Gross Premium Income comes to BDT.610,818,804 which was BDT. 602,388,897 in 2021.

In the current scenario, we have been able to reduce our operating costs somewhat. Our expenditure in 2021 was BDT.139,857,053 compared to BDT.97,062,32 in 2022. The total assets increased to BDT 21,405,678. Although, there is a certain degree of fall to the figures accomplished in 2021, yet the achievement is significant enough bearing in mind what the entire world went through.

On behalf of the Board, I thank the Executive Committee, and all members of the Company for their brave and relentless efforts and dedication, not only for pleasing outcome, but also upholding the core values of the company to ensure continued insurance support to our customers.

At present we are passing through a difficult period. Every moment we have to struggle to save ourselves from catastrophe. However, we have started our fight and hope that we will emerge in a new day very soon, In Sha Allah.

Finally, it must be acknowledged that the entire world is in a financial crisis. So, don't lose heart at this moment; we need to be more aware and take every measure to protect ourselves.

May Allah SWT protect us.

Thank you all.

A K M Monirul Hoque