Takaful Malaysia positive on Etiqa’s listing prospect

It is a good move as it will improve the liquidity of the insurance market, says CEO

By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS

The prospect of Etiqa, the insurance arm for Malayan Banking Bhd, being listed on the local bourse will improve the liquidity of the Shariah compliant insurance market, said Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd.

“It is a good move to have another public-listed Islamic insurance firm on Bursa Malaysia as it will improve the liquidity of the market.

“There will be more options for investors and it will serve the market’s appetite for Shariah-compliant insurance stocks,” group CEO Datuk Seri Mohamed Hassan Md Kamil said at the launch of the Digitally- Assisted Medication Delivery Programme by Takaful Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He said the additional trading option for the insurance market is expected to spur trading and boost market prices.

“No doubt it is a positive move for the industry, and the trading and market prices are hoped to be more robust. In return, it will be beneficial to Takaful Malaysia as there will be more trading activities.

“For example, the Employees Provident Fund now has an Islamic fund and they are looking at instruments which are Shariah-compliant for them to invest in, and the industry can leverage on this,” he said.

At present, Takaful Malaysia is the biggest listed insurance company on Bursa Malaysia with a market capitalisation of over RM3 billion, which is majority-owned by Lembaga Tabung Haji.

Meanwhile, Takaful Malaysia is providing a digitallyassisted medication delivery service to its current policyholders under its Employee Benefits plan, which currently has over 300,000 members.

The service is managed by Doctor2U, an online platform for on-demand healthcare service which provides medicine delivery and medical consultation through a mobile application.

Mohamed Hassan said the programme is a continuation to the insurance firm’s ramping up of its digital capabilities as the programme is planned to be integrated with the firm’s recently launched portal, “Click for Cover”.

“When we launched the portal, which enables customers to buy insurance online, we looked at 20%-25% growth year-on-year for our digital sales.

“With the integration, it will add a significant uptake in our traffic through the online sales,” he said, adding that the firm plans to roll out the integration plan before year-end.

He said the programme will subsequently reduce the premium price of coverage plans in order to mitigate the escalating medical expenses in the country.

“The overall expenses through Doctor2U are more cost-efficient than the individual clinics are charging.

“We know that the medical expenses have continued to escalate between 15%-20% annually and medication is a big portion of the expenses in our Employee Benefits plan.

“Moving forward, the programme will hopefully see a significant cost reduction among our policyholders and will translate into cheaper premiums,” he said.