by LYDIA NATHAN / pic by TMR FILE
THE government aims for the national Islamic insurance penetration rate to hit 75% by 2020.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said Malaysia is a growing family takaful market with much potential and had grown 13.1% from RM4.35 billion in 2017 to RM4.91 billion last year.
“We need to raise awareness of the benefits of takaful protection for Malaysians so they would not be burdened by unfortunate circumstances in the future,” he said at the FWD Takaful Bhd brand launch recently.
FWD Takaful aims to change the public’s perception on takaful and introduce new visions to leverage its strength and expertise to cement its position locally as a family takaful operator.
According to Bank Negara Malaysia, 41% of Malaysians have only one type of insurance policy.
Lim said FWD Takaful’s entry into the country bodes well for the domestic takaful industry, with a total investment of RM1.06 billion over the next five years.
He said the launch signifies the confidence that foreign investors have in the country.
“This is evident through the influx of foreign investments. In the first quarter of 2019 (1Q19), the country recorded the highest realised foreign
direct investment (FDI) of RM21.7 billion. This is a 94.8% increase from RM11.2 billion in 1Q18, with RM2.8 billion from Hong Kong,” he said.
Lim added that in 1Q19, approved FDI across all sectors surged 73.4% to RM29.3 billion compared to RM16.9 billion a year ago.
“These new and potential investments will diversify the economic sectors, raise the economy’s growth potential and create additional jobs for Malaysians in the near future,” Lim opined.
Meanwhile, FWD Takaful CEO Salim Majid Zain (picture) said the group targets to have 15% of the industry’s market share within five years.
The group is currently ranked 11th among the 12 insurance companies in Malaysia.
“The vision is to move up to fifth rank in less than five years. Right now, there are about 120 agents, with some 250 more waiting to be registered. We are looking at 600 agents before the end of the year,” he said.
Salim added that he is confident in the long-term growth potential as Malaysia becomes a leading hub for Islamic finance.
FWD Takaful is 49%-owned by Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li’s Pacific Century Group, 20% by the Employees Provident Fund and 31% by JAB Capital Bhd, a subsidiary of Robert Kuok’s Kuok Brothers Sdn Bhd.
Other markets include Hong Kong and Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and Japan.