Thursday, May 19, 2011

Takaful ... May11

Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd has been largely left out of the insurance rally and is trading at low valuations.

Its shares are trading at a steep 35% discount (09 May 2011) to its net asset value and at half the industry’s average price-to-book valuation. As at Dec 31, 2010, Takaful Malaysia’s book value stood at RM2.40 per share.

The only other insurance stock trading below its book value is MNRB Holdings, at 0.58 times book. However, it should be noted that MNRB is a national re-insurance, and not an insurance company.

LPI Capital is trading at 2.72 times book, followed by Kurnia Asia at 1.82 times book and Allianz Malaysia at 1.43 times (09 May 2011).

Takaful Malaysia’s relatively low valuation makes it an attractive target for outsiders looking to penetrate the industry, or for existing competitors seeking to strengthen their foothold. Or even as a long-term investment.

Merging with a bigger player or a bank, such as Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd, could also bode well for Takaful Malaysia. Takaful Malaysia and Bank Islam share common shareholders. A potential merger could create a larger and more integrated Islamic financial group which would allow for better cross-selling of products.

Managing director Datuk Mohamed Hassan Kamil however put paid to such a possibility, saying the company intends to focus on growing its two subsidiaries overseas, PT Asuransi Takaful Keluarga and PT Ansuransi Takaful Umum in Indonesia.

It will concentrate on the performance of these companies, and will further strengthen their position with a greater focus within the takaful segment and improve strategic alliances and partnerships vis-à-vis affinity programmes.

It will be looking forward to furthering our various associations and strengthening our ties in the upcoming year (2011 & Beyond).

Regulatory restrictions prevented Takaful Malaysia from merging with its sister company, Bank Islam Malaysia.

Takaful Malaysia is eyeing a larger share of the local takaful market, which is estimated to grow between 25% and 30% annually.

Takaful Malaysia is looking to grow its present customer base of one million by 25% by the end of 2011, through increased distribution channels and introduction of new products.
In September 2010, BNM issued four new family takaful licences. The new licences were issued to joint ventures between American International Assurance Bhd and Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd; AMMB Holdings Bhd and Friends Provident Group plc, UK; ING Management Holdings (M) Bhd, Public Bank Bhd and Public Islamic Bank Bhd; and Great Eastern Life Assurance Co Ltd and Koperasi Angkatan Tentera Malaysia Bhd.

There are 11 operators in the industry according to information on the BNM website. They are AIA AFG Takaful Bhd, CIMB Aviva Takaful Bhd, Etiqa Takaful Bhd, Great Eastern Takaful Sdn Bhd, Hong Leong MSIG Takaful (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, ING Public Takaful Ehsan Bhd, MAA Takaful Bhd, Prudential BSN Takaful Bhd, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd and Takaful Ikhlas Sdn Bhd.

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