Takaful Malaysia on the lookout for M&A

13 May 2015 / 05:40 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd, which expects a record year in 2015, is looking to buy a local takaful company in 2017 as composite insurers and takaful players will be required to split their life and general insurance businesses under separate licences by 2018.
"With the restructuring that will take place, we anticipate that there may be some opportunities for some merger and acquisitions (and) so we will see whether there will be any good opportunities for us to expand our operations by acquiring another company," its group managing director Datuk Seri Mohamed Hassan Kamil (pix) told a press briefing after the group's AGM and EGM here yesterday.
He said Takaful is not in talks with any parties presently. "By 2017 we would know who wants to sell or maintain (their businesses)," explained Hassan.
He revealed that Takaful Malaysia has submitted an initial proposal to Bank Negara Malaysia on the splitting of its family and general license under the IFSA 2013.
The company has conducted a series of meetings as well as discussions with the central bank on the initial proposal and is still at the early stage of development with regard to the splitting of the license.
Hassan expects 2015 to be a record year for the operator, driven by the employee benefit business.
The company also expects to exceed the takaful industry's growth and improve on its market share this year.
"We've secured a few major clients (in the first quarter) this year where the size (premium) is exceeding RM1 million (per client). Resulting from that, our fee income should be able to drive the shareholders profit to a higher level for 2015."
On its Indonesian operations, Hassan said it is looking to tie up with a bank there.
"Bank Muamalat Indonesia has a stake in our company (PT Syarikat Takaful Indonesia) and we will continue to discuss this matter with them whether we will be able to have some form of partnership for us to distribute our products to Bank Muamalat customers.
"If that happens, our gross contribution for Takaful Indonesia will increase tremendously. Since we are a substantial shareholder of the Takaful Indonesia operations, Takaful Malaysia will also benefit in terms of larger contribution from our subsidiary," he said.
He pointed out that the extension of Indonesia's takaful window concept by the government for the next 10 years has put a damper on its initiative.
"This has not created a level-playing field for us in Indonesia because we operate as a full standalone company and not a window takaful company," said Hassan, but noted that its Indonesian operations contribute only less than 5% of the total group's profit.
Besides Indonesia, he said the most logical region to expand next would be the Middle East but due to the political climate there, Takaful Malaysia would rather "wait and see until things stabilise".
"There's plenty to do in Malaysia and Indonesia so our focus would be closer to the Asean region," said Hassan.
Earlier, the group received shareholders' approval for the one-to-five share split exercise at its EGM, which will enhance the availability and liquidity of the company's shares.


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