Malaysian takaful firms seen investing little abroad

The Malaysian government is encouraging takaful operators to invest abroad in order to internationalise its Islamic finance industry. Takaful operators will be allowed to invest abroad without limit, lifting a requirement for them to hold at least 80 percent of assets locally. However, Takaful firms in the country are usually reluctant to invest abroad due to a low risk appetite and lack of expertise. Furthermore, the domestic focus is partly due to ample supplies of sukuk in Malaysia. Another obstacle to internationalisation is the meagre experience of some Malaysian takaful firms. Dependence on local assets, however, has come at a price, with many takaful firms missing their target returns.