Allianz still eyeing takaful ops

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Allianz Malaysia Bhd is still keen on venturing into the takaful business and will continue to be on the lookout for such opportunities.

This follows as talks to purchase HSBC Amanah Takaful was discontinued recently, because both parties could not come to an agreement on the price of the acquisition.

Speaking after the group’s AGM, Allianz Malaysia CEO Zakri Khir said the group is not currently in talks with any parties.

“We will eventually find something that we like, at the right price. We will find a fair price – we are not going to pay exorbitant prices.

“So far, we have not initiated any talks with anyone yet,” said Zakri.

He added that takaful penetration rate in Malaysia is low, at an estimated 15%, when compared to the number of policies in the population.

Going forward, Allianz Malaysia expects its life insurance business to grow, while the non-life insurance segment to remain stable.

The first and second quarter of 2017 will remain challenging, though 2017 is expected to be a better year than 2016.

Despite the economic challenges last year, Allianz Malaysia managed to deliver a gross written premium of RM4.2bil and a record high pretax profit of RM454.6mil, by diversifying its products and channels.

Its new business value rose 45% last year.

The group’s target for the year is to achieve a “close to double-digit” revenue growth and double-digit net profit growth.

Allianz Malaysia is also banking on the growth potential stemming from the relatively low insurance penetration rate of 57% in Malaysia.

Allianz Life Insurance Malaysia Bhd CEO Joseph K. Gross noted that awareness would drive growth in the insurance industry, particularly when Allianz Malaysia begun to digitise its products to make it more transparent and easier for people to understand.

“It is the customer experience that plays a vital role in gaining a higher insurance penetration rate.

“If you radically improve the customer experience, which means simplifying and demistifying the products, making them easy to purchase and service, the price will not be the most critical parameter. It will be the value for money that people see.

“Take a look at any digital industry that has been growing explosively – it is driven by customer experience and simplicity, not price,” said Gross.

Source: The Star (25 May 2017)