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Thursday, 25 September 2008

Malaysia: AIA first to get international takaful operator licence

PETALING JAYA: American International Assurance Bhd (AIA) has received Malaysia’s first international takaful operator (ITO) licence from Bank Negara.
The licence would allow AIA’s wholly owned subsidiary AIA Takaful International Bhd (ATIB) to carry out composite (family and general) takaful and re-takaful businesses in international currencies.
ATIB has been operational since Sept 15.
AIA Bhd chief executive officer and ATIB director Khor Hock Seng said in a statement: “We are delighted to be granted the licence as we are now able to offer takaful solutions for the middle and affluent segments of qualified residents and non-residents in Malaysia.
“It is a significant step for AIA as we enter the growing Islamic financial market as a niche player offering consumers the choice of takaful solutions in international currencies, something that has not been largely available locally.”
He added that it would enable the company to tap the growing takaful global market and contribute to the expansion of ATIB’s takaful infrastructure. It would also establish Malaysia as a regional centre of excellence for AIA.
As one of the few players in Malaysia offering takaful solutions in international currencies, ATIB is well positioned to benefit from the steady growth of the global and domestic Islamic finance sector and the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre’s (MIFC) initiative to promote Malaysia as a major hub for international Islamic finance.
The MIFC initiative positions Malaysia as an international Islamic financial hub for international takaful, sukuk origination, Islamic wealth and fund management, international Islamic banking and human capital development.
“From an organisational perspective, ATIB is also strategically positioned to leverage on the established infrastructure of AIA as it adopts the shared services model which will help ensure overall efficiency and effectiveness,” said Khor.
Another notable key strength of ATIB lies in the wealth of knowledge possessed by the distinguished members of its syariah committee, which has been approved by Bank Negara.
“The committee comprises recognised syariah scholars who will guide us in ensuring all our takaful solutions are in line with established syariah principles,” he said.
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