Hong Leong Bank Teams Up With Millea Asia Pte. Ltd. And Hong Leong Assurance To Form Takaful Company
Hong Leong Bank (HLB) today chalks up another achievement as it signs an agreement with Millea Asia Pte. Ltd. and Hong Leong Assurance to establish a takaful company that will provide an alternative offering of products and services for customers.
This signing ceremony follows Bank Negara Malaysia's approval in February this year of the application for a takaful licence by Hong Leong Bank, Millea Asia Pte. Ltd. and Hong Leong Assurance with equity participation of 55%, 35% and 10% respectively.
Signing on behalf of their respective companies are Ms Yvonne Chia (Group Managing Director, HLB), Mr Jun Hemmi (General Manager, Millea Asia Pte. Ltd.) and Mr Low Teik Leong (Group Managing Director, Hong Leong Assurance).
In her welcome speech, Ms Chia says that the approval is indeed a reflection of Bank Negara Malaysia's confidence in Hong Leong Financial Services Group's tenacity and steadfast commitment to the development of Islamic Finance and the nation's bid to consolidate its position as the region's foremost Islamic Financial hub.
"Together with our world-class partner, Millea Asia Pte. Ltd., hand-in-hand we will continue to strive to meet the high standards and expectations set by Bank Negara Malaysia and the Malaysian public," adds Ms Chia. "Through our new takaful arm, we hope to promote Malaysia as the global centre for takaful business and build the takaful business in the region."
The penetration rate nationwide is currently at an estimated 5 to 6 per cent of the overall domestic insurance market size. Seeing the tremendous growth prospects available in the takaful business, the three companies have teamed up to tap on the Malaysian and regional market with its wide scope and potential.
"The synergy achieved from this joint venture will allow us to fully exploit the strengths and capabilities of three dynamic and highly successful financial services providers - creating new and innovative, customer-centric takaful products that will be very competitive in the market," Ms Chia says.
Millea Asia Pte. Ltd., based in Singapore, is the Asian regional management company of Millea Holdings Inc. of Japan. The Millea Group operates Tokio Marine & Nichido, one of the world's largest insurance companies, and this joint venture is the Group's latest tie-up following their participation in takaful business in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Singapore.
Says Mr Jun Hemmi in his speech, "Millea Group in collaboration with Hong Leong Group Malaysia would like to contribute to the sound development of the takaful industry here in Malaysia via this new joint venture and eventually to further enhance Malaysia's leading position as the most advanced Islamic Financial Centre."
"In the past few years, the Islamic Finance industry including takaful has rapidly been growing and attracting the interest of many financial institutions. We at Millea Group never consider takaful merely as a business opportunity. Our real objective is to widely promote takaful as an effective measure of risk mitigation. It is our sincere wish to serve the people in every country we venture into with our products and services," stresses Mr Hemmi.
Under the joint venture, Millea Asia will contribute their vast technical and product development expertise to come up with unique family and general takaful products.
At the same time, Hong Leong Bank and its subsidiary, Hong Leong Islamic Bank, with their extensive branch network nationwide, together with Hong Leong Assurance, with its stablished insurance expertise, will endeavour to bring to market the new products developed in collaboration with Millea Asia.
Says Mr Low Teik Leong, "Hong Leong Assurance's vast experience in the insurance business in Malaysia will provide the impetus to launch the takaful business very quickly."
Through this partnership, Hong Leong Financial Services Group now offers a complete range of financial products and services, becoming a one-stop financial services provider of holistic solutions to customers - conventional banking, Islamic banking, conventional insurance, and now Islamic insurance.
This strategic alliance holds great promise for the Group and with its vast and varied customer base, it will be able to actively market the new takaful products to Muslim and non-Muslim customers alike.
Press Release - 28/03/2006