AmMetLife Takaful optimistic of double-digit growth in contributions for FY20, says CEO

By NG MIN SHEN / Pic By TMR File

AMMETLIFE Takaful Bhd is confident of achieving double- digit growth in takaful contributions for the financial year ending March 31, 2020 (FY20), as it begins its expansion plans for this year.

“For the financial year from April 2019 to March 2020, I’m seeing significant double-digit growth in contributions for us,” AmMetLife Takaful CEO Noor Azam Mohd Yusof (picture) told reporters at a signing ceremony in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He said this would be driven by several initiatives that the takaful provider, which operates as a strategic partnership between AMMB Holdings Bhd (AmBank) and MetLife International Holdings Inc, has been working on since mid-2018.

“We are still considered a small takaful operator, (although) we’ve been here for 1½ years. We’ve been strengthening our operations for growth and we now have all the infrastructure ready.

“This year is for us to go out, not depending on AmBank and conventional agents, since we operate on a leveraging model where we’re present at AmBank branches,” Noor Azam said.

Based on AmBank’s annual report for FY18, profit after tax from its insurance business — which encompasses AmGeneral Holdings Bhd, AmMetLife Insurance Bhd and AmMetLife Takaful — rose 19% to RM234 million in FY18 from RM196 million a year ago.

As part of the initiatives and deals that the operator expects to materialise this year, the group is set to join the Public Sector Home Financing Board, an agency under the Ministry of Finance that provides housing loans for the public sector.

“That alone is a huge market and we expect to be up and running by today (Jan 24). This will give us good bus ines s,” Noor Azam added.

The group will also continue to innovate its product offerings and work on increasing the number of agents via leveraging on conventional insurance agents.

Currently, it has some 200 dedicated takaful agents, while total active agents including conventional agents stands at 1,000 plus.

“Previously, Bank Negara Malaysia didn’t allow conventional agents to sell takaful. Last year, we obtained (the clearance), so we’re in the middle of licensing the conventional agents to sell takaful,” Noor Azam said.

Meanwhile, challenging operating conditions are anticipated to persist for the domest ic takaful sector, although it continues to grow faster than the conventional insurance industry.

“The takaful segment is still growing better than the conventional side, but it’s not as high as it used to be. The takaful industry used to enjoy double-digit growth.

However, in the past few years, growth has been declining, so we need to innovate our products,” Noor Azam added.

The takaful group yesterday inked a memorandum of understanding with Tabung Waqaf Rakyat Johor (TWRJ), under which death claims arising from waqaf benefits offered by AmMetLife Takaful will be channelled to TWRJ for waqaf activities.