Kuala Lumpur, 25 March 2008 - Hong Leong Tokio Marine Takaful Berhad (HLTM Takaful) today became the FIRST Takaful Operator to launch a fully Shariah-compliant Takaful plan linked to investment opportunities in the Middle East. HLTM Takaful has again utilized the concepts of Wa'ad and Commodity Murabahah for this new product. The plan known as HLTMT Gulf Opportunities Plan (GOP) is its second Capital Protection Investment-Linked (CPIL) plan.
GOP, a three-year Shariah-compliant Takaful product provides investment returns benchmarked against the performance of three asset classes namely, Middle Eastern Equities, Commodities and Foreign Currencies where the projected annualized return at maturity could be up to 10%. Understanding the volatility of today's market, the GOP's investment is based on the 'best-of-profile' structure that allows investors to enjoy the highest return allocation from the underlying investment profiles. The structure would self-select the best performing portfolio at the end of the investment period.
The Middle East region contains some of the most dynamic and rapidly expanding economies in the world. The region has the world's largest oil reserves and with limited supply and the consistently high demand for the commodity, it should keep prices competitive. Revenue from oil is expected to be invested into domestic infrastructure further boosting the economies of the countries in the region. This is reflected in the earnings of Middle East top companies, which have grown by 40% per annum since 2003. Its market's low correlation to the rest of the world also means that the region is 'insulated' from current market noises and hence provides major benefits and great diversification opportunities into sectors such as banking, telecommunications and real estate.
"In short, HLTM Takaful's GOP gives customers the capability to invest in opportunities abroad and to benefit from the rapidly rising economies of Middle East. The opportunities in these markets are immense," said En Ezamshah Ismail, Chief Executive Officer of HLTM Takaful.
"The Takaful and Capital protections are additional features of the plan and the 'best-of-profile' investment structure that this plan provides will appeal to risk-averse investors, " he adds.
GOP is an affordable investment plan with initial investments starting as low as RM10,000. The GOP also provides Takaful coverage for investors in the event of death for up to 125% of the initial investment amount. The GOP is designed to be a hassle-free Takaful protection where its investors are only required to provide their health declaration without the need to undergo any medical examinations. On top of that, for an investment amount of RM50, 000 and above, GOP offers bonus units allocation of 0.1%.
"If the investment is held till maturity, investors could potentially enjoy higher returns than annual fixed deposit rates or General Investment Accounts (GIA)," En Ezamshah concludes.
Sanjeev Nanavati, CEO Citibank Berhad said, "We are proud to work with HLTMT again especially after the successful launch of the Capital Protection Investment-Linked (CPIL) plan last year."
He adds, "The uniqueness of the investment basket gives investors broad exposure to various asset classes that are closely linked to the Middle East."
The plan, managed by HLTM Takaful, with Citibank as the structure provider, is distributed by Hong Leong Bank through its extensive network of branches nationwide.