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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Syarikat Takaful ‘insured against’ economic downturn next year

KUALA LUMPUR: Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd (STMB) does not expect to be impacted by the economic slowdown next year.

Instead, group managing director Datuk Hassan Kamil believes its business is slowdown-proof given the neccessity of its services.

“We also invest conservatively in low risk assets such as bonds and fixed income instruments, so we do not expect to be hit by the general volatility in the market,” he told StarBiz.

Due to the optimistic outlook, STMB is looking at an investment fund size of at least a RM100mil for its latest five-year comprehensive syariah-compliant investment-linked product, Al-Afdhal.

“We are projecting quite an attractive yield compared with the returns from fixed income instruments. There is also no downside to the product as the capital is protected for five years,” he said, adding that the product was primarily targeted at retail investors.

Besides its agents, STMB also plans to leverage on the customers of its sister company, Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd.

“There is much cross-selling as well as considerable opportunity for growth between both companies,” he said, adding that both companies were in the midst of consolidating their branches.

“The aim is to become a one-stop centre, so that customers can do banking transactions as well as pay their premiums at the very same takaful counter. This would improve infrastructure cost and the efficiency in servicing the customer,” he said.

STMB also seeks to grow its share of the total Islamic insurance plan for the government housing loan scheme with the setting up of its new Treasury Business Centre in Putrajaya in August.

“We hope to grow our market share from 10% to 30% in the next 12 months,” he added.

(The Star)

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