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KUALA LUMPURBank Negara Malaysia, the country's central bank, has approved licenses for Munich Reinsurance Co. and MNRB Holdings Berhad to establish retakaful companies in Malaysia.
Takaful insurance is a form of mutual insurance that is acceptable under Islamic--Shari'ah--law, and retakaful is reinsurance of that cover.
Munich, Germany-based Munich Reinsurance Co. said in a statement that the license would entitle it to offer retakaful independently of any joint venture.
"Munich Re expects that takaful and retakaful business will gain in momentum in regard to premium growth, as well as variety of products offered," it said.
MRNB is the holding company of Malaysian Reinsurance Berhad, a domestic reinsurance company.
According to Bank Negara, the total assets of the takaful industry in Malaysia currently stand at 6.5 billion ringgit ($1.77 billion).
"The establishment of these retakaful companies will also promote Malaysia as the center for international currency retakaful business, which is one of the measures taken to promote Malaysia as an international Islamic financial center," the bank said in a statement.