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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Takaful Malaysia eyes bigger revenue contributions

KUALA LUMPUR: Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd expects revenue contributions from its Indonesian operations to easily increase to 20% once the ruling on sales of takaful products by stand-alone takaful companies comes into force in 2015.
Group managing director, Hassan Kamil, said currently the Indonesian operations contributed about 10%.
“Our takaful company in Indonesia is a stand-alone company. So by then we hope the competition will be more equal and fair.
“Currently, the playing field is not level. A lot of conventional companies operate as a window, so they have a significant advantage compared with us as they use the conventional arm to support the takaful window, without the need of a separate capital,” he told a media briefing after the group’s annual general meeting today.
On the group’s plan to acquire a property in London, Hassan said, the plan was put on hold as the Islamic Financial Services Act (IFSA) would be in place this June.
“The IFSA will allow us to have a structure where there is a financial holding company, so we will wait for specific guidelines from Bank Negara Malaysia before we proceed with our next steps in acquiring the property in London.
“With the existence of the financial holding company, this will probably allow us to benefit more from the tax structure if we were to establish the financial holding company in Labuan,” he said, adding that the group expected to restart negotiation on the acquisition in London next year.
The new Act would require conventional and takaful insurers to relinquish their composite licences and conduct their life and general insurance businesses under separate units.
On other possible overseas venture, he said, Takaful Malaysia has looked at the China and Middle East markets, which had large Muslim population.
However, he said, China lacked Syariah-compliant instruments for the group to invest its premiums while Middle East was unstable in terms of security.
Moving forward, Hassan said, the industry’s prospects remained positive and it was anticipated to grow between 20% and 25% this year.
“We hope to ride on that momentum and to grow at least at that percentage to ensure that our market share is sustained,” he said.
Takaful Malaysia, which will present its internal target capital level to BNM by September, is set to have a dividend policy next year.
Hassan said even without a dividend policy, the group has been distributing a good amount of returns to shareholders.
Last year, a total of RM57 million was paid out against net profit of RM100.1 million, he said.

(F.M.T news / 29 April 2013)
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