5 Interactive Distance Learning Programs on Islamic Banking and Finance

Thursday, February 24, 2011

FWU Group receive 'Best Takaful Provider' Award at Euromoney Islamic Finance Awards 2011

Thursday 24th February 2011, Dubai, UAE - FWU Group today announced that it was the recipient of the "Best Takaful Provider" Award from the Euromoney Islamic Finance Awards 2011 in London held on the 22nd February 2011. The event, hosted at the prestigious Landmark Hotel, recognised the most successful Islamic institutions worldwide.

It is the second time that FWU Group receive an accolade from the Euromoney Islamic Finance Awards. In 2007 FWU Group was awarded as the "Best Life Takaful Provider". This award recognised the group's growing footprint, reputation for innovation, creative product design, IT systems and quality of white labelled unit-linked savings plans. FWU Group has replicated this successful model to its international Family Takaful business, bringing in the knowledge and expertise. Indeed, FWU Group is the uncontested leader in the fast expanding Takaful industry, and is the largest global producer of Bancatakaful in five markets: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Malaysia and Pakistan.

"Our position as leaders can be attributed to the successful long term strategic partnerships we have developed with local Takaful partners and the distribution agreements with major banks in each market. FWU Group has developed a very unique business model" says Dr Manfred Dirrheimer, Chairman and CEO.

FWU Group offers its bank distribution partners a customised innovative Takaful product family, which includes savings, education, and marriage plans. FWU Group also introduced in 2010 a second generation of Family Takaful Investment Linked Plans (both Regular and Single Premium). The investment value proposition takes into account the various risk profiles specific to each customer segment and provides an open-investment architecture where banks can incorporate their own Shari'ah-compliant funds into the investments universe as well as a proprietary quantitative investment model for the monthly fund selection and allocation. FWU Group's Takaful partners offer two distinct investment strategies: equities and cash. The Participant in the Takaful Fund is able to choose which strategy is best suited to his/her risk appetite.

FWU Group has recently introduced a unique investment programme in conjunction with an international bank: the dynamic principal-protected equity strategy. This Dynamic Protection Plan (DPP) is an additional tool, which will be added to the actively managed underlying equity portfolio of the FWU Group Family Takaful Programmes. It has been designed to allow for participation in the upward trends of the equity markets whilst offering protection against bearish markets.

Thanks to this mechanism, the level of protected unit price can only increase, but never decrease during the entire contribution payment period of the Takaful contract. The concept offers not only capital protection for the total invested contribution component at the end of the contribution payment period, but also a continuous and innovative fixing of protected unit prices at maturity within the Family Takaful Program. As a result, the Participant can profit continuously from the opportunities of the international stock markets while being protected against losses by the end of the investment term.

Besides product and process innovation, FWU Group also prides itself in giving advice and support regarding regulatory matters, full after-sales service including training and customer risk profiling.

"FWU Group has ambitious plans for the Takaful industry and is planning to further extend its outreach to countries such as Turkey, Egypt, Indonesia, Morocco, Brunei and South Africa. FWU Group's aim is to create a Family Takaful business not only for Muslim communities but also for the worldwide non-Muslim consumers" says Sohail Jaffer, Partner and Head of International Business Development.

Courtesy by: Zawya

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dow Jones Indexes to launch Takaful Index

Dow Jones Indexes is expanding its Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes series by launching the Dow Jones Islamic Market Global Finance & Takaful Index, which measures the performance of financial services stocks that pass rules-based screens for Shari’ah compliance.
The new index, designed to provide broader coverage of the Shari’ah-compliant financial services sector, will serve as a benchmark and an underlying instrument for investment products such as mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

“The Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes is a unique series that combines faith-based principles and benchmarking,” said Michael A. Petronella, president, Dow Jones Indexes. “Our index family was the first to market and has clearly set the standards of Islamic indexing around the world. And, once again, with the launch of the Dow Jones Islamic Market Global Finance & Takaful Index, we are providing the market with the first benchmark of its kind for these combined sectors.”

Eligible companies are banks, insurance and financial services companies. Included in the index are those stocks that pass financial ratio screens that are less than 33 per cent in total debt, divided by trailing 24-month average market capitalisation; cash plus interest-bearing securities, divided by trailing 24-month average market capitalisation; and accounts receivables, divided by trailing 24-month average market capitalisation.

The dollar-denominated Dow Jones Islamic Market Global Finance & Takaful Index is weighted based on float-adjusted market capitalization, with the weight of individual stocks restricted to 15 per cent. The index composition is reviewed quarterly in March, June, September and December; it is also regularly reviewed to account for corporate actions such as mergers, de-listings or bankruptcies.

Courtesy by: CPI Financial

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Amana Takaful and John Keells to defend titles

Amana Takaful ‘A’ will defend the ‘Cup’ championship and John Keells Group the ‘Plate’ when the 35th Seven-A-Side Football tournament conducted by the Mercantile Football Association (MFA) is worked off on Sunday, February 27 at Reid Avenue, Colombo 7.

This year, the ‘Cup’ champions will receive prize money of

Rs. 25,000/- and the runners-up Rs. 15,000/-The ‘Plate’ champions will receive a cash award of Rs. 15,000/- while the runners-up will be richer by Rs. 10,000/-. Furthemore, the winners and runners-up will receive plaques, while the best goal keepers and best players of each category will also receive cash awards of Rs. 2000/- each.

This year, 32 teams have entered the tournament.

Group ‘A’ – Hirdramani ‘A’, HSBC ‘B’, Tri Star Apparel and Seylan Bank. ‘B’ Dialog ‘A’, Galadari Hotel, Expo Lanka ‘B and Sampath Bank. ‘C’ Eskimo Fashion, MAS Holdings ‘Blue’, Aiport and Aviation and Colombo Dockyard. ‘D’ HNB ‘A’ NDB Bank, Lake House and Traveller Global. ‘E’ Ceylinco Insurance, HNB ‘B’, MAS Holdings ‘Red’ and Hirdramani ‘B.’ ‘F’ HSBC ‘A’, Soft Logic, CIFL and Amana Takaful. ‘G’ Hayleys, L.B. Finance, Commercial Bank and John Keells Group. ‘H’ Dialog ‘B’, Sri Lanka Catering, Expo Lanka ‘A’ and Mobitel.

Courtesy by: Bruce Maurice

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Niger insurance urges public to buy Takaful insurance products

The management of Niger Insurance plc has enjoined members of the insuring public to buy Takaful insurance products as part of efforts to imbibe savings culture.

The company’s Managing Director, Clinton Uranta, made this call during a chat with correspondents in Lagos.

Unlike the conventional insurance which majority of the Shariah scholars believe is unlawful due to involvement of Riba (interest), Maisir (gambling) and Gharar (uncertainty), Takaful, the Islamic alternative to insurance, is based on the concept of social solidarity, cooperation and mutual indemnification of losses of members.

It is a pact among a group of persons who agree to jointly indemnify the loss or damage that may be inflicted upon any of them, out of the fund they donate collectively. The Takaful contract so agreed usually involves the concepts of Mudarabah, Tabarru´ (to donate for benefit of others) and mutual sharing of losses with the overall objective of eliminating the element of uncertainty.

Uranta said the people should not see the takaful products as religious products especially as the bottom line is savings, which can either be savings for school fees, pilgrimage, house rent or any other thing.

While pointing out that takaful is not new to insurance industry globally as it is also being offered by many insurance companies globally, he said the product has been doing very well since it was introduced by Niger Insurance.

A large number of Takaful companies exist in the Middle East, Far East, Iran, Turkey, and Sudan and even in some non-Islamic countries. There are over 60 companies offering Takaful services in 23 countries around the world.

“In our own unique way, we have expanded the product in such a way that even non Muslims embrace it. But the bottom line is savings. Savings for school fees pilgrimage, house rent and what have you. That was how we modified it to suit our people in Nigeria. So you asked me whether it is doing well, it is doing well and we will continue to bring innovation into it to make it more attractive to the insuring public,” he stated.

Uranta also spoke on the branch expansion and restructuring programmes embarked upon by the company, saying the firm now has two additional regional offices in Sokoto and Yola to increase its total outlets to 45, while efforts are ongoing to open more new branches in the nearest future.

He also hinted that the insurance outfit has set a premium income target of N 12 billion for itself in 2011 based on the fact that the economy is on the recovery path, coupled with the fact that the company recently made new appointments and embarked on internal restructuring.

Niger Insurance Plc is a public quoted composite insurance company. The management team of the company is made up of trained, experienced and competent professionals with extensive management and technical skill.

Niger Insurance is fully computerised with the most advanced software technology. The computer network is capable of expansion and upgrading to meet with present and future increases in the volume of business.

The company has also put in place sound reinsurance treaties with local and foreign first class reinsurance companies led by Swiss Re. These comprehensive securities ensure financial stability and exude confidence in its service to both present and prospective customers.

Courtesy by; Vanguard

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Islamic insurance firm sees opportunity after Egypt crisis

DUBAI: Tokio Marine Middle East, an Islamic insurance services provider, sees an opportunity to expand its business in Egypt following the recent political turmoil, the company’s chief executive told Reuters.

Islamic insurance, or takaful, is already seeing demand in Egypt and the recent demonstrations will highlight the need for financial protection, said Ajmal Bhatty, president and chief executive of Tokio Marine Middle East, a unit of Tokio Marine Holdings.

“The awareness for insurance, especially personal insurance is generally low in regional markets including Egypt,” Bhatty said in an interview last week.

“Events such as the recent ones generally result in increasing the awareness in people that they need to do more about protection of their livelihood and assets.”

The unprecedented demonstrations captivated the world and led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak after a 30-year reign.

Tokio Marine launched two takaful companies in Egypt in January 2010. There are eight Islamic insurance providers in the country.

Bhatty said the industry expects to pay claims resulting from the turmoil.

The Japanese insurer said last year that it expected the two sharia-compliant units to generate about $3.5 million in annual premium income in the first financial year, which closes in June. That figure should increase to $136.4 million within 10 years, giving the Egyptian operations more than a one-fifth share of the takaful market in the country.

Islamic insurance, or takaful, is similar to mutual insurance but with a clear segregation of the assets owned by policy holders and those owned by the insurer.

The industry is expected to be a clear growth driver within the nearly $1 trillion Islamic finance industry over the next five years.

Tokio Marine is also considering launching micro-takaful operations in Egypt to complement microfinance programs already available.

Micro-takaful is an Islamic insurance scheme for people on low incomes who cannot afford insurance premiums. As part of a micro-credit scheme, a small amount goes to cover areas such as life, disability and accident insurance, as well as livestock cover or crop insurance against hazards of severe weather or flooding.

Bhatty said the company has already successfully provided conventional micro-insurance in India through a joint venture with a Japanese fertilizer company.

“We would like to explore microtakaful possibilities for Egypt as a good proportion of the society would benefit from it,” Bhatty said.

Courtesy by: Reuters

Monday, February 14, 2011

Takaful: The Cinderella of the Islamic finance industry

Takaful (Islamic mutual insurance), the Cinderella of the Islamic finance industry, received potentially a major boost with the entry at the end of January 2011 of US insurance giant AIG (American Insurance Group) into the Malaysian market through a RM100-million joint venture, AIA AFG Takaful Berhad, between its flagship Asian entity, American International Assurance Berhad (70 percent equity) and Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad (30 percent equity), a member of the Alliance Financial Group Berhad of Malaysia.

In fact, two further international-local Takaful joint ventures are scheduled to come to enter the market in 2011 following the approval last year by Malaysian Finance Minister and Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak of the four new joint-venture family Takaful licenses under the Takaful Act of 1984. This was part of Malaysia’s ongoing financial liberalization of its Islamic finance sector which was announced by Prime Minister Najib in April 2009.

These included AIA AFG Takaful Berhad; the joint venture between AMMB Holdings Berhad (70 percent) and Friends Provident Group PLC, UK (30 percent); one between ING Management Holdings (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (60 percent), Public Bank Berhad (20 percent) and Public Islamic Bank Berhad (20 percent); and one between The Great Eastern Life Assurance Company Ltd. (70 percent) and Koperasi Angkatan Tentera Malaysia Berhad (30 percent).

This brings the number of Takaful operators in Malaysia to 12. The other Takaful operators include CIMB Aviva Takaful Berhad, Etiqa Takaful Berhad, Hong Leong Tokio Marine Takaful Berhad, HSBC Amanah Takaful (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, MAA Takaful Berhad, Prudential BSN Takaful Berhad, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Berhad and Takaful Ikhlas Sdn. Bhd. Further international interest in Malaysia’s Takaful market is the 35 percent equity stake being finalized by Japan’s Mitsui Sumitomo in Hong Leong Tokio Marine Takaful Berhad.

In addition, Malaysia also has four Retakaful Operators, namely, ACR Retakaful SEA Berhad, MNRB Retakaful Berhad, Munchener Ruckversicherungs-Gesellschaft (Munich Re Retakaful) and Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd. (Swiss Re Retakaful); and one International Takaful Operator in AIA Takaful International Bhd. In addition, there is also strong presence of the Takaful industry in the Labuan International Business and Financial Centre, where there are 14 Retakaful operators incorporated.

“The launching of AIA AFG Takaful Bhd. is another important milestone in our strategy toward developing a progressive Takaful industry that is resilient and is better able to meet the increasingly challenging and competitive business environment,” explained Mohd Razif bin Abd Kadir, deputy governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, the central bank and Takaful regulator, at the launch of the company in Kuala Lumpur.

However milestones in the Takaful sector should to be put in perspective. Ernst & Young estimates Global Takaful contributions at a mere $5.3 billion in 2008, even though the year-on-year growth was 28 percent. However, the base relatively to the global insurance market is extremely low as such any increase looks impressive. The growth by end 2010 was projected to reach a mere $9 billion.

Bank Negara Malaysia estimates that the Takaful industry is expected to grow by up to 20 percent annually (compared to up to 40 percent for the Islamic banking industry) and is estimated to reach $14.4 billion by end 2010.

Malaysia has the single largest Takaful market in the world with an estimated 26 percent of global Takaful assets which according to Bank Negara Malaysia totaled RM12,445.4 million — and not the second largest as one FT publication maintains because for some curious reason it includes the Iranian insurance market which is not Shariah-compliant per se. Iranian insurance companies confirm that the insurance market in Iran is not Shariah-compliant per se. The same applies to the Iranian banking sector.

Bank Negara Malaysia’s Quarterly Bulletin for Q3 2010 stressed that the insurance and Takaful sector remained resilient, supported by strong capitalization and improved profitability with a capital adequacy ratio of 222.7 percent with excess capital of RM19.2 billion. What a pity the data for the insurance and Takaful sectors are co-mingled making it impossible to analyze which of the two was better performing on a quarterly basis.

Takaful Fund Assets, according to Bank Negara Malaysia, comprised only 8 percent of the total assets of the Malaysian insurance and Takaful industry in 2009 — up from 5.7 percent in 2005 and 7.5 percent in 2008.

Total Takaful Funds, however, have more than doubled in this same period from RM5,878.4 million in 2005 to RM10,569.4 in 2008 and RM12,445.4 million in 2009. Similarly, Takaful net contributions income increased from RM1,333.7 million in 2005 to RM3,025.1 million in 2008 to RM3,521.8 million in 2009.

Where Razif is spot on is the growing diversity of the sector-product offerings by Takaful operators have further broadened to cater to the differentiated needs of customers, with family Takaful products (equivalent to life insurance) now dominating the market with a share of 78 percent of net contribution, as compared to general Takaful products (equivalent to general insurance such as fire, car etc) that dominated a share of 63 percent back in 1984.

"Similarly, the Takaful industry,” explained Razif, “exhibits high potential, as demonstrated by its robust expansion with annual growth rate of total assets and contributions averaging between 20 percent and 26 percent over the period of 2004 to 2009.”

Robust expansion may be a slight exaggeration, but Bank Negara Malaysia is rightly confident of the “strong growth prospect for the Takaful sector, in view of the large untapped potential, where out of the 53.5 percent market penetration rate for both Takaful and insurance, the market penetration rate for Takaful was merely 10.9 percent in September 2010.” The untapped areas of business within the family Takaful industry, accounting for 50.3 percent of contributions in September 2010, says the central bank, are micro-Takaful, medical and retirement products.

The Malaysian government can help leverage this growth potential by giving the Takaful sector the same policy and structural support which it has given the banking and capital markets (Sukuk) sectors over the last three decades. This support could take the form of various initiatives including increasing the provision of Shariah-compliant retirement and pension products of both government employees (those who opt for such a scheme) and individuals in general; and the greater use of Takaful products by government-linked companies (GLCs) and the two sovereign wealth funds, Khazanah Nasional and 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) in their business.

Malaysia has the most advanced Takaful industry regulatory and legal infrastructure in the world, the same as for its Islamic banking and capital markets architecture. Given its role in providing risk protection, the Takaful industry offers a suite of financial products and services that complement the existing range available for consumers. In recognizing its importance, stressed Deputy Governor Mohd Razif, “focus has been given in developing a dynamic and vibrant Takaful industry within our Islamic financial system. Where the industry is today has been an outcome of an accumulation of efforts in instituting a comprehensive Islamic financial landscape in Malaysia's financial system. A strong institutional infrastructure and effective legal, regulatory and Shariah governance framework are the underpinnings of our Islamic financial industry. In our pursuit to develop Islamic finance, the recent enhancement to the Central Banking Act has accorded formal recognition to the existence of Islamic finance as an arm of the dual financial system, thereby giving significance and due prominence to Islamic finance.”

Moving forward, the new Shariah Governance Framework, which became effective on Jan. 1, aims at enhancing “the role of the board, the Shariah Committee and the management in relation to Shariah matters, including enhancing the relevant key organs having the responsibility to execute the Shariah compliance and research functions aimed at the attainment of a Shariah-based operating environment” of Malaysian Islamic financial institutions including Takaful and Retakaful operators.

Bank Negara Malaysia recently also issued Guidelines on Takaful Operational Framework, which establishes principles governing the operational processes of Takaful business to ensure that business activities and innovations are within the Takaful operator's risk management capacity. “With effective discharge of Takaful operators' duties, the interests of Takaful stakeholders will be safeguarded as the guidelines place emphasis on sound management to ensure sustainability of Takaful operators,” added Razif.

AIA AFG Takaful Bhd., which has a paid-up capital of RM100 million, will concentrate on bancatakaful to further enhance the development of the family Takaful industry in Malaysia, including micro-Takaful, medical and retirement products

Courtesy by: Arab News

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Amana Takaful awarded ISO system certification

Amana Takaful was recently awarded the ISO 9001:2008 certification for both its General and Life Takaful businesses as part of its endeavour to continuously provide higher service standards to its discerning customers. ISO 9001:2008 is a system certification that the company intends will improve its Quality Management through continual improvement.

Mr. Zaid Aboobucker, General Manager Operations and Medical Takaful of Amana Takaful PLC highlighted the importance of being ISO certified adding that it was a team effort that made it possible which will also the secret of its continuation. "We embarked on obtaining the ISO certification as part of our continuing efforts to improve our service delivery. It is our belief that this will provide us a good platform through which we can develop better service standards for the future," he said.

ISO 9001:2008 certification is awarded to companies that meet with the highest Quality Management Standards stipulated by the International Standards Organisation. The Accreditation Auditors, Det Norske Veritas (DNV, Netherlands), assessed Amana Takaful's overall operations covering General Takaful, Medical Takaful and Life Takaful. A customer centric approach was the key focus for assessing quality management to ensure that service is provided to the best of standards in terms of customer satisfaction and speedy service.

The ISO standards are based on 8 Quality Management Principles, which are aligned with the philosophy and objectives of most quality award programmes. These principles are customer focus, leadership, involvement of people, a process approach, a systems approach to management, continual improvement, a factual approach to decision making, and mutually beneficial supplier relationships.

Amana Takaful PLC is the Sri Lankan pioneer and flag bearer of the Takaful way of insurance that redefines how insurance is carried out. Takaful is a refreshingly new concept of risk management that is based on mutual and collective efforts of customers to safeguard their individual and combined risks that makes them owners of the fund and the underwriting profit that is made. Amana Takaful PLC has been operating for over a decade in Sri Lanka and has a fully-fledged operation in the Maldives since 2003.

Courtesy by: Daily Mirror

Friday, February 11, 2011

Takaful Insurans Islam Taib Benefits Presented To Fire & Rescue Dept Personnel

Bandar Seri Begawan - The Acting Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yusof, yesterday witnessed the presentation of Takaful Insurans Islam Tail) benefits for the Fire and Rescue Department's personnel. It was held at the surau of the Ministry of Home Affairs, according to a press release.
The ceremony also saw the presentation of a Takaful benefit facility for deaths and death compensation benefits for the beneficiary of a Fire and Rescue Department personnel who passed away on January 19 this year.

It was presented by Dato Paduka Sa Bali Abas, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs, and Hj Osman Hj Md Jair, the Managing Director of Insurans Islam TAIB Sdn Bhd.

The Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, through the Ministry of Home. Affairs and the Fire and Rescue Department,
has a big responsibility to provide safety, security and harmony for all employees. In relation to this, all officers and personnel from the Fire and Rescue Department have been provided with a life insurance coverage package since October 1, 2009, funded by the government.

The coverage called "PelanTakaful Berkelompok" will help protect interests and lessen the burden on financial difficulties should the unexpected happen to an insured employee.

It also serves as a show of appreciation for the sincere, excellent and professional services provided to the country, taking into account the sacrifices made to perform duties given such high-risk job and tasks for the sake of the people.

Yesterday's programme began with a tahlil and Surah Yassi in recitation by Ustaz Hj Adanan Hj Ahmad, the Fire and Rescue Department's Head of Religious Teachers.

It was also attended by the Acting Permanent Secretary and Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs. Also present were other senior officers and staff members from the ministry, Fire and Rescue Department, as well as the National Disaster Management Centre.

Courtesy by: Borneo Bulletin

Thursday, February 10, 2011

AIG, Mitsui expand in Malaysia

Malaysia is attracting global companies such as American International Group Inc and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co seeking to tap growth in the country’s US$4 billion Islamic insurance market.

Mitsui Sumitomo said on Jan. 28 it’s in talks to buy a stake in a local operator offering takaful, or Shariah-compliant insurance. New York-based American International formed a joint venture with Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd in January, four months after winning a licence from the central bank.

The entrance of more insurance firms will increase the pool of funds looking for longer-maturity debt in Malaysia as the government embarks on a 10-year, US$444 billion development program. Malaysia is giving tax incentives to foreign companies setting up takaful businesses and has eased ownership rules in domestic institutions to aid growth in the industry.

“Insurers are in the best market because of its depth and liquidity,” Mohd. Farid Kamarudin, who helps manage RM1.3 billion (US$428 million) of Islamic assets at Kuala Lumpur-based AmInvestment Management Sdn Bhd, a unit of the fourth-biggest underwriter of sukuk last year, said in a Feb. 7 interview. “This is the only market where you can buy sukuk with maturities of up to 20 years or 30 years.”

Ownership limits

Takaful accounted for 10.9 per cent of Malaysia’s total insurance market as of September, central bank Deputy Governor Mohd Razif Abd Kadir said in Kuala Lumpur on Jan. 28. In contrast, Islamic banking makes up 20 percent of the total banking industry.

Takaful is based on the Shariah principle of mutual assistance, where two parties agree to pay into a fund that will be used to assist each other in times of need.

Assets held by operators of Shariah-compliant insurance in Malaysia reached RM12.4 billion at the end of 2009, with RM3.52 billion raised in premiums, central bank data show.

Courtesy by: Business Times

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Amana Takaful plans going public in Maldives

The Maldivian subsidiary of Sri Lanka's Amana Takaful Insuracne Plc, Amana Takaful (Maldives) Private Limited has applied to be listed in the Maldives Stock Exchange (MSE).

According to the MSE website (www.mse.com.mv) the company has submitted its application and it will be the first foreign owned company and Shariah compliant company that has applied for a listing in MSE.

Once the listing is completed Amana Takaful will become the fifth company listed on the MSE.

Amana Takaful (Maldives) Private Limited started its operations in Maldives in 2004 after receiving a license from the Maldivian Insurance Authority to engage in General Insurance in 2004.

Today the company has grown as one of the largest players in the Maldives providing insurance solutions to key sectors of the government and also non-government organizations.

In collaboration with one of the largest Takaful operators in the world, Malaysia Takaful, Amana Takaful started its Sri Lankan operation in 1998 by offering both General and Family Takaful solutions.

They are the first and only insurance company in Sri Lanka to pioneer the process of refunding surplus at the end of each policy term. The company has a very competitive customer base and has operations throughout Sri Lanka.

Recently a subsidiary company of Amana Group, Amana Bank Limited obtained the license from the Sri Lanka's Central Bank and the Finance Ministry to conduct commercial banking in the country.

The Maldives Stock Exchange first established on 14th April 2002 was operated by the Capital Market Development Authority (CMDA) as part of the regulator.

However to separate the Exchange operation, Maldives Stock Exchange (MSE) was licensed as a private sector exchange by Capital Market Development Authority (CMDA) on 23rd January 2008 under the Maldives Securities Act.

As such the MSE is operated by the Maldives Stock Exchange Company Pvt Ltd, effective from 24th January 2008.

The primary function of MSE is to facilitate companies raising capital through the issue of new securities. The secondary function of the MSE is to provide a regulated market for the trading of existing stocks between investors. The MSE is also the centre for trading, reporting and pricing of the stocks. The trading information is released to the public by the MSE ensuring transparency in market dealings.

The four companies that are already listed on the MSE include the Maldives Transport and Contracting Company Plc (MTCC), Bank of Maldives Plc (BML), State Trading Organization Plc (STO), and the Maldives Tourism Development Corporation.

Courtesy by: Daily mirror

Monday, February 7, 2011

Takaful Brunei Raises Awareness On Products That Offer Protection

Bandar Seri Begawan - About 80 personnel comprising representatives of RBAF, the Royal Brunei Air Forces and Royal Brunei Navy, as well as civilian personnel from the Ministry of Defence attended a product presentation conducted by Takaful Brunei Am Sdn Bhd (TBA) and Takaful Brunei Keluarga Sdn Bhd (TBK).
In attendance were Deputy Commander, Administration Division, other commanding and senior officers from different divisions, Major Hj Mohd Sheikh Hj Bagol, as well as TBK's General Manager Hj Mohd Shahrildin PD Hj Jaya.

Senior officers from TBA and TBK were also present at the programme that served as part of a road show to raise awareness of Takaful products offered by TBA and TBK as well as fulfilling the government's aspiration to educate the public in becoming a society that saves for its future.

To date this year, TBK and TBA have conducted many road shows for various government agencies and corporate institutions on the importance and benefits of available Takaful products that offer protection and the overall response has been very positive.

Courtesy by: Borneo Bulletin

Friday, February 4, 2011

Al Khaleej Takaful 2010 net profit rises to QR73mn

Al Khaleej Takaful Insurance and Reinsurance has reported a 7% growth in its 2010 net profit to QR72.84mn as total income grew much faster than expenses.

The company, which is proposing to change its name to Alkhaleej Takaful Group, has suggested 30% cash dividend; which will have to be approved by shareholders at the annual general assembly scheduled on February 21.

Total investment and other income shot up 58% to QR117.40mn while total expenses rose 11% to QR43.95mn, according to its financial statement filed with the Qatar Exchange.

Wakala income jumped almost five-fold to QR50.83mn; net realised gains on sale of available-for-sale investments rose 11% to QR30.87mn; rental income by 31% to QR8.04mn and other income by 71% to QR1.83mn; even as dividend income plunged 12% to QR24.93mn.

The company has reported a QR0.61mn shareholders’ deficit from takaful operations compared with QR33.31mn surplus in the previous year. Total takaful revenues stood at QR44.85mn and expenses at QR45.47mn.

However, for the policyholders, the insurer’s surplus from takaful operations jumped more than three-fold to QR44.02mn. Total takaful revenues were QR105.76mn and expenses were QR61.75mn.

Total assets were valued at QR976.54mn, comprising policyholders’ assets of QR275.65mn and shareholders assets of QR700.89mn.

Total shareholders’ equity stood at QR575.97mn on a capital base of QR142.30mn and earnings-per-share was QR5.12 at the end of December 31, 2010.

Courtesy by: Gulf Times

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Japan's Mitsui says eyes stake in Malaysian Islamic insurer

Tokio Marine is expected to sell its stake in Hong Leong Tokio Marine to the Malaysian shareholder which would then sell it on to Mitsui Sumitomo, both pending regulatory approval, a source said.

Japan's Nikkei newspaper had earlier reported that Tokio Marine was planning to exit its partnership in Hong Leong Tokio Marine due to differences in business strategy. While Tokio Marine wants to sell a broad lineup of life and non-life insurance, Hong Leong is keen to focus on savings-type policies, the paper said.

Mitsui Sumitomo has been looking to expand its overseas operations by forging tie-ups with peers in emerging markets as Japan's non-life insurance market shrinks.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance managing executive officer Masaaki Nishikata told Reuters in September that MS&AD Insurance was in talks to buy into several life insurers in Asia as it aims to tap the region's growing economies.

A unit of Tokio Marine halted talks with Malaysia's PacificMas to buy medical insurance provider Pacific Insurance Bhd last July.

The market for Islamic insurance, or takaful, is expected to grow in tandem with rising demand for ethical investments. Total takaful contributions could reach $7.7 billion a year by 2012, Ernst & Young has forecast. But global takaful contributions are less than 1 percent of the total insurance premium spend annually, industry lawyers Clyde & Co have said. ($1 = 81.335 Japanese Yen) (Click on for more Islamic finance stories and for a speed guide) (Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; writing by Liau Y-Sing; editing by Lincoln Feast)

Courtesy by: Reuters

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pak-Qatar Family Takaful business grows

KARACHI: Pak-Qatar Family Takaful (PQFTL) has recorded 120 percent growth in its Takaful business in 2010 to Rs1.04 billion as compared with previous year’s Rs466 million.

PQFTL recorded 66 percent growth in its branch network to 44 branches in 21 cities of the country.

Pak-Qatar Family Takaful (PQFTL) was the first Takaful company in Pakistan to declare a surplus of 15 percent for its individual customers for 2009.

The company has registered tremendous growth despite economic recession which speaks highly about the acceptance of Takaful by the masses. The company began its operations in 2007.

Courtesy by: The International News

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Malaysia AIA AFG Takaful seeks new hires, eyes growth

The insurer, is owned by the Malaysian unit of AIA and Alliance Bank , will add to its current headcount of 25 as it looks to become among Malaysia's top three family takaful providers within three years, its chief executive Wan Azman Wan Mamat said.

"The potential is that immediately a start-up company like AIA AFG Takaful will have access to a very strong distribution and that will be the differentiator for the company in terms of the growth potential," AIA Bhd chief executive Khor Hock Seng told reporters after officially launching the company.

Wan Azman said Etiqa Takaful, which is owned by Mayban Fortis, a joint-venture between Malaysia's largest lender Malayan Banking and financial group Fortis , is Malaysia's biggest Islamic family insurer with about 25 percent market share. Prudential is second with about 16-18 percent share.

"Increasingly bancassurance is going to play a major part of our business," said Alliance Financial Group's group chief executive Sng Seow Wah.

"With this tie-up, I hope to be able to extend beyond the takaful business with AIA to do other bancassurance products which will extend to businesses."

The Islamic insurance industry's growth has been held back by a shortage of sharia-compliant instruments that insurers can invest in and some doubts about whether takaful really complies with Islamic guidelines.

The takaful penetration rate in mostly Muslim Malaysia was only 10.9 percent in September 2010. The Southeast Asian country has the world's second-largest takaful market and its total assets of $3.2 billion accounted for 26 percent of total global takaful assets in 2009, according to central bank estimates.

AIA AFG Takaful is one of four takaful companies that received licences from the Malaysian central bank late last year as the authorities look to accelerate the industry's growth.

Total takaful contributions could reach $7.7 billion a year by 2012, Ernst & Young has forecast. But global takaful contributions are less than 1 percent of the total insurance premium spend annually, industry lawyers Clyde & Co have said.

Courtesy by: Reuters