Tony Fernandes: Tune Ins may be first to be listed under the stable of Tune Group

KUALA LUMPUR: Tune Ins Holdings Bhd may be the first company to be listed under the stable of Tune Group, according to Tune group co-founder and AirAsia Bhd group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.

“Tune Ins is definitely going to be the first to go public under the Tune Group. Tune Ins's engine of growth will be stronger than what we have seen in Tune Hotel and Tune Talk. A listing is very possible because of the growth projection,” Fernandes told reporters after launching its insurance arm Tune Insurance Malaysia Bhd previously known as Oriental Capital Assurance Bhd (OCA) yesterday.

“It has a good business, it is in a fantastic part of the world (in South-East Asia), which is under-insured. We are looking at acquisitions in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines,” he said.

In May, Tune Ins acquired a 77.92% stake in OCA from Maika Holdings Bhd and G Team Resources & Holding Sdn Bhd for RM153.13mil cash, or RM1.965 per share.

StarBiz had earlier reported that Tune Ins had entered into an unconditional share sale agreement with Maika Holdings and G Team for the acquisition of 74.17% of the issued and paid-up capital of OCA for a cash consideration of RM145.75mil and another 3.75 million shares, or 3.75% stake, in OCA for RM7.37mil.

Tune Money Sdn Bhd CEO Peter Miller said it would like to increase its stake to 100% “if it could” in Tune Insurance.

He said Tune Ins currently owned 83% in Tune Insurance and it had also launched a mandatory general offer to the remaining shareholders of Tune Insurance.

Meanwhile, Tune Insurance's gross premium is expected to rise to RM330mil next year from the RM260mil currently.

Tune Insurance CEO Su Tieng Teck said the projection was conservative and growth prospect of the insurance company was imminent. “We are looking at double-digit growth, up from the industry's growth of 7%,” he said, adding that Tune Insurance currently had some 180,000 policyholders.

With the integration with Tune Group, AirAsia and AirAsiaX, Tune Insurance expected to sign up 200,000 new insurance customers a month. “There will be huge prospects for travel insurance.”

As for airline business, Fernandes was tight lipped on its expansion into new markets.

He declined to comment on who AirAsia was approaching in India. “But I'll be flying to India tomorrow,” he said.

Fernandes said with the Indian government allowing 49% foreign direct investments in the nation's civil aviation sector, “it would be foolish not to look into it”.

On Wednesday, it was reported that AirAsia was ready for the Indian market and it was his dream to have the budget airline in India and China.