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Wednesday May 20, 2009

Takaful provider upbeat on premium income

It may account for 20% of HSBC Islamic banking revenue in 2 years

KUALA LUMPUR: Takaful premium income is expected to contribute 20% to HSBC Amanah Malaysia Bhd’s revenue by 2011, according to HSBC Amanah Takaful (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Zainudin Ishak.

“At the moment our contribution to the group is insignificant,’’ he told reporters at briefing on a survey conducted by HSBC Insurance (Asia Pacific) Holdings Ltd yesterday.

HSBC Amanah Takaful was registered in August 2006 and the company had recently turned profitable, Zainudin said, adding that new regular premium income at the takaful operator had doubled to RM30mil from RM15mil recorded six months ago.

Zainudin said he expected the “momentum” to continue for the rest of the year, despite concerns that the economic slowdown would limit consumers’ demand for insurance products.

»At the moment our contribution to the group is insignificant« ZAINUDIN ISHAK

The survey by HSBC Insurance showed that two of the most specific long-term wealth aspirations for Malaysians are related to financial security in retirement and education funding for children.

One of the obstacles to achieve this, however, is the “lack of investment instruments with good returns” in the current market conditions.

Zainudin said HSBC Amanah Takaful intended to leverage on the strength of the group’s brand name, and the fact that HSBC had been in Malaysia for the past 125 years.

“HSBC is a trusted brand name in Malaysia and we have various takaful products to cater to local needs,’’ he said.

The new products were being developed for the Malaysian market through the group’s global expertise in Islamic finance, Zainudin added.

HSBC Amanah is the Islamic banking arm of HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd. It has four stand-alone branches, coupled with the parent bank’s 40 outlets across the country.

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