The Global Health Benefits business unit of Cigna (NYSE:CI) and Saudi Arabian Insurance Company B.S.C (C) (SAICO) today announced they signed a joint-venture agreement to enhance their current partnership in developing their portfolio of health, wellness and insurance products targeted to regional and multi-national employers and organizations across the Middle East, expanding the 11-year business relationship between these two companies. “The Middle East is an important part of Cigna’s global growth strategy, and the new joint venture demonstrates our deepening commitment to investing in the region. We want to deepen our commitment to serving the local population as well as the globally mobile workforce on assignment in the region,” said Andrew Kielty, President of Cigna Global Health Benefits. “SAICO is a well-regarded general insurance company in the region and in partnership together, we have developed a solid reputation in the marketplace through our collective strength and focus, market knowledge, vast network and combined service proposition.” “The Middle East is the primary market for SAICO’s operation where the medical business is one of the fastest growing areas for the company. SAICO is committed to servicing clients in the health insurance business as it does in other insurance lines. The joint venture combines the strengths of our two organizations and aligns the current partnership around a common goal of meeting the needs of customers and clients located in the Middle East for enhanced customer service and efficiency. In this partnership with Cigna, SAICO will be able to improve on cost containment through clinical and claims management,” said Nagib Bahous, President and CEO of SAICO. Cigna and SAICO each will own half of the joint venture partnership. The JV partnership is committed to continuing to invest, growing further its product offerings and service capabilities in the Middle East and gaining market share in this geography.