Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Malaysia's Great Eastern Takaful plans regional growth
KUALA LUMPUR | Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:09am EST
KUALA LUMPUR Dec 20 (Reuters) - Malaysian Islamic insurer Great Eastern Takaful will expand to Indonesia and Brunei to tap the Muslim market for sharia-compliant products, its chief executive officer said on Monday.
The company, which is owned by a subsidiary of Singapore's Great Eastern Holdings Limited and Malaysia's armed forces cooperative, also has Singapore and China on its radar for expansion.
It plans to go to Indonesia in 2011 and Singapore and China in 2014 or 2015.
"Both (Indonesia and Brunei) are majority Muslim population and this sharia-compliant insurance will definitely attract the population," Great Eastern Takaful chief executive Mohamad Salihuddin Ahmad told reporters.
"Beyond that we are also looking into Singapore and China because these are the two countries where Great Eastern has a presence."
Indonesia is regarded as the next Asian growth market for Islamic finance. Its Islamic bank assets were 66 trillion rupiah as of December 2009, compared with 2,534 trillion rupiah for the banking industry as a whole, central bank figures show.
In Malaysia, Islamic banking assets totalled about $95 billion, or 19.6 percent of the total, as of December 2009, the central bank has estimated.
(Reporting by Liau Y-Sing, Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)