Islamic insurance providers in the UAE are struggling to generate surpluses amid cut-throat competition and overcapacity, Standard & Poor's warned in its report. The takaful industry must compete directly with conventional insurance companies that benefit from established economies of scale, have longer service track records and have more established distribution mechanisms to the marketplace. According to the report, the sector is now overpopulated with insurers. Insurance companies therefore require considerable capital investment to become established. Insurance companies are the most represented on the UAE stock markets, with 23 of the almost 100 publicly listed companies coming from the sector, but they are also some of the least traded stocks.