Astro Awani

Etiqa, ethics and #insurtech

Insurance technology or insurtech strives to innovate the insurance business of risk management. As a subset of fintech, insurtech uses big data to form a precise risk profile of the subject that is being covered. According to Maybank Ageas CEO Kamaludin Ahmad, one example is the telematics system in vehicle-monitoring. He said the intended market would include logistics companies, delivery companies and even small-medium enterprises with only three to five vehicles. Kamaludin believes insurtech can be sold and will be beneficial to people. However, it requires a change of mindset. Maybank Ageas and its household brand Etiqa Takaful are dominating the market share, capturing over half the total insurance and takaful market. Some argue that the size of the Maybank-Etiqa insurance is too big, to the extent of being deemed a monopoly. Kamaludin thinks Maybank is far from monopolising anything, the focus is not on pushing sales, but on being the best in the sector.

Moody's: Shariah-compliant #investment accounts at #Malaysian banks to continue growing

According to Moody's Investors Service, the growth of shariah-compliant investment accounts at Malaysian banks will remain strong over the next three to five years. Moody's Vice President, Simon Chen, said Malaysian banks have strong incentives to promote the growth of such investment accounts because they provide capital benefits. He added that concerns also exist over the untested state of loss-sharing mechanisms in the accounts. The robust growth of shariah-compliant investment accounts in Malaysia began in July 2015 following the implementation of the Islamic Financial Services Act 2013. By February 2017, these accounts had grown to RM74.2 billion, or 13%, of total banking system liabilities. On the question of risk, Moody's said that a significant loss event to test the resilience of this regime has yet to occur.

#Takaful Ikhlas to introduce online platform by year-end

Takaful Ikhlas aims to introduce its online platform for basic term life insurance to encourage youths to obtain insurance coverage. Senior Vice-President, Wan Rosli Shaharuddin Wan Yaacob is optimistic the online platform will attract youths as they will be able to compare the products' features, policies, as well as pricing via the platform. He said Malaysians below 35 years old currently constituted the largest group in the country who have yet to be covered by any insurance company. According to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Financial Stability and Payments Report 2016, Malaysia's overall insurance penetration remained flat, within the range of 54% to 56% over the last five years. The central bank had earlier set the penetration rate target at 75% by 2020. It specifies that standalone protection products must be available through direct channels from Jan 1, 2017, followed by critical illness and medical and health insurance/takaful products by Jan 1, 2018.

1MDB Board of Directors: Who are they?

Today, the country's business fraternity received news about the resignation of 1Malaysia Development Berhad's board of directors following the release of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report on the national strategic investment company. The key people behind 1MDB are Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin, Chairman, and Arul Kanda President and Group Executive Director, among others. Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin is the Chief Executive of Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera since August 1982 and the Group Managing Director and Deputy Chairman of Boustead Holdings Berhad. Arul Kanda joins 1MDB from Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank where he was Executive Vice-President and Head of Investment Banking.

BIMB's Bank Islam issues RM40 mln sukuk

BIMB Holdings Bhd's wholly-owned unit, Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd, has issued the second tranche of the Subordinated Sukuk Murabahah amounting to RM400 million under the Subordinated Sukuk Murabahah Programme. The sukuk's tenure will be 10 years, with non-callable five years, and the maturity date will be Dec 15, 2025. The proceeds shall be used to finance Bank Islam's Islamic banking activities, working capital requirements and other corporate purposes and/or, if required, to redeem any outstanding Subordinated Sukuk Murabahah issued under the Subordinated Sukuk Murabahah Programme. The sukuk was rated 'A1/stable' by RAM Rating Services Bhd.

Malaysia Islamic insurers go digital to attract younger audience

Malaysia’s Islamic insurers are seeking to double policy holders in five years by investing more in digital technologies to attract a younger audience, according to Ahmad Rizlan Azman, chairman of the Malaysian Takaful Association. Takaful operators should also step up educational campaigns to boost customers to 8.4 million by 2020 from about 4 million now, he said. Attracting more professionals is another prerequisite to achieving Malaysia’s targets, Ahmad Rizlan added. Syarikat Takaful’s Mohammad Hassan said the nation’s Islamic insurers have to push for innovative new ideas to keep their growth momentum going. The company is considering an acquisition in the next two years to increase its customer base, he said.

Bank Islam to spend more than RM5 mil on CSR this year

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd will spend more than RM5 million this year on its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes to cater for various segments of society nationwide. The CSR programmes planned this year include housing projects for the needy in Johor, which involved the rehabilitation and construction of houses for 22 families costing more than RM4 million. So far, the bank has built or rehabilitated houses for more than 151 improverished families in Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah, Pahang, Perak and Sarawak. The bank is also looking to extend its CSR activities in Sabah as there is still a need for houses for the poor as well as basic infrastructure like surau and others.

10th IFSB Summit discusses global financial crisis

During the 10th Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) Summit key leaders discussed the industry’s developments following the global financial crisis as well as regulatory reforms, cross-sectoral approach to the regulation of Islamic finance, and prospects and challenges for new jurisdictions. The event was held on 16 and 17 May in Kuala Lumpur and hosted by Bank Negara Malaysia. It consisted of three sessions themed “Financial Regulatory Reforms: Global Overview”, “Cross-sectoral Approach to the Regulation of Islamic Finance and Market Development: Lessons Learnt” and “New Markets, New Frontiers – Prospects and Challenges”. The panel discussed issues like initiatives undertaken by the Basel Committee in recent years, supervision of all the sectors of Islamic finance as well as progress and development, prospects and challenges faced by the IIFS.

IDB hopes for closer ties with IFSB

Islamic Development Bank (IDB) president Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al Madani suggested four key areas for the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) to focus on durich his keynote address at the 10th IFSB Summit in Kuala Lumpur. These include the creation of a conducive enabling environmen, adoption of IFSB and AAOIFI standards by all stakeholders, shortage of qualified manpower and financial inclusion through Islamic microfinance, supported by Zakat and Awqaf. In this context, IDB hopes for more collaborative opportunities with IFSB. Meanwhile, Sheikh Abdulla Saoud Al-Thani, chairman of IFSB 2013, highlighted some of the challenges that lie ahead in the Islamic financial service industry like the under-penetrated Takaful industry.

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