KUALA LUMPUR: Maybank's Islamic insurance arm, Etiqa Takaful Bhd, is on an acquisition trail to boost its business, both locally and abroad.
Etiqa Takaful commands about 45 per cent of the domestic takaful market and currently carries out business in Brunei, Singapore and Pakistan.
"That (merger and acquisition) is something consistently on the board," Etiqa Takaful's chief executive officer Shahril Azuar Jimin told Business Times in a recent interview.
After gaining almost half of the market share in the country, he said it was important for the operator to balance its business via acquisitions.
"We may look and see here in Malaysia and also at overseas markets. We certainly do not discount that," he said.
Etiqa Takaful has earmarked Indonesia as a likely destination, with tremendous potential for takaful products due to the large Muslim population there.
The Islamic insurer hopes to make its debut in Indonesia by the middle of 2013, leveraging on Maybank's presence in the republic.
Etiqa Takaful is a unit of Mayban Ageas Holdings Bhd (formerly Mayban Fortis Holdings), the insurance and takaful arm of Maybank Group. Ageas is Belgium's largest insurer and operates in 14 countries worldwide.
Maybank has a full fledged Islamic bank (PT Bank Maybank Indocorp (BMI) and a full fledged commercial bank (Bank Internasional Indonesia (BII)) in Indonesia.
Maybank has an ambitious plan of becoming a leading Islamic bank in Asean by 2015, in terms of reach.
Shahril, also Etiqa Ageas Holdings Bhd's chief sales officer, said having Maybank's backing was important in the company's business growth.
"The Maybank element is very important for us. It has made us what we are today. Maybank sees insurance and takaful as a pillar to help propel the group," he added.
The global takaful market presents a vast opportunity for Etiqa Takaful.
Though the takaful market is only 1 per cent of the global insurance market, its global market could reach US$25 billion (RM75 billion) at the end of 2015.
According to Ernst & Young, global takaful contributions are expected to touch US$12 billion at the end of this year from US$9.15 billion in 2010.
For the financial year ended June 30 2010, the top line premium written by Etiqa Ageas Holdings stood at RM4.5 billion while takaful contribution was recorded at RM1.95 billion, placing it as the second largest overall insurer in Malaysia and the number one takaful player in the country, with a pre-tax profit RM422 million.