Sunday, June 14, 2009

Takaful Malaysia sees light at the end of tunnel

By Alfean Hardy
Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd is seeing the light at the end of the global economic crisis tunnel and is planning to leverage on the improving e conomy and increasing customer appetite for investment products, its group managing director Datuk Mohamed Hassan Md Kamil said in a recent email interview with The Malaysian Reserve.
"We are of the view that the global economy will slowly stabilise towards the end of this year considering the massive stimulus packages and accommodative monetary policies introduced worldwide to support the downturn," he said. "Since equity markets normally recover a few months ahead of the economy, we expect the local market to steadily recover in the second half of this year.
"Hence, it is timely to offer an investment-linked product with equity exposure to take advantage of the upside when market recovers.
"We believe that investors are constantly looking for the best investible asset to invest in and Takaful myInvest provides them more alternatives to diversify their portfolios while at the same time obtain takaful protection," he added.
Takaful Malaysia recently launched an open-ended investment-linked product, Takaful myInvest, to cater to investors who want takaful protection while looking for alternatives to diversify their portfolios.
The product offers takaful protection in the event of death or total permanent disability during the investment period. It has four different investment funds — Dividend Fund (Irad), Blue Chips Fund (Istifad), Index Tracker Fund (Ihfaz) and Growth Fund (Ittihad) — that can be mixed to suit different investment appetites.
The funds will be invested in Bursa Malaysia-listed Shariah-compliant stocks approved by the Securities Commission's Shariah Advisory Council. The product is also designed to be invested in Islamic deposits and the money market.
Mohamed Hassan said Takaful myInvest is for all types of investors who hold an optimistic view on the equity market's recovery locally and would like to position their investment portfolios to take advantage of that recovery as well as the unlimited upside of potential returns that equity investments offer.
"While we are aware of the opportunities offered in the overseas markets as a result of the financial meltdown, we opine that the risks are also higher, which we need to avoid.
"The local market is more defensive in nature but it also offers tremendous growth," he said. "With the current economic condition, domestic investments would be the most prudent and best way to contain risk exposure.
"The domestic equity market still offers decent earnings in terms of dividend as compared to other regional markets, and money market investment ensures that liquidity is intact while at the same time offering the opportunity of stable returns," he added.
Asked whether Takaful Malaysia had an overseas variant of Takaful myInvest in the pipeline, Mohamed Hassan said the company was constantly working to offer innovative products to its valued customers.
"As such, there are plans on launching more investmentlinked products that will be associated with the performance of foreign investments, for example, structured products, provided that the global sentiment improves and that economic recovery is forthcoming," he said.


(This story appeared in The Malaysian Reserve on June 10, 2009. The Malaysian Reserve is a daily business/finance newspaper published out of Kuala Lumpur, with a sectoral page on Islamic finance on Mondays, edited by Habhajan Singh)

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