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Takaful Investment Portfolios: A Study of the Composition of Takaful Funds in the GCC and Malaysia


The Islamic finance sector has witnessed historic growth over the past decade. One of the most successful and fastest-growing segments has been the takaful, or Islamic insurance, industry, which is expected to grow at an average rate of 20 percent per annum, well into the future.

Despite the rapid growth of Islamic insurance and mounting interest among major players in both the Islamic and conventional financial industries, much about their internal workings remains veiled in mystery. Nowhere has this been more true than in the financial structures and investment activities.

Based on a groundbreaking research project begun in 2002, this book provides a clear, in-depth look at the financial structures in both the GCC and Malaysia, which together represent approximately 60 percent of the Islamic insurance industry.

Featuring a gold mine of new and novel research, Takaful Investment Portfolios covers:

  • The history of the industry, as well as various takaful models and how they work
  • Islamic insurance practices, highlighting differences between Shari'ah-compliant and conventional insurance
  • Critical legal and regulatory aspects of insurance contracts under Islamic law in both the GCC and Malaysian markets
  • Major asset classes comprising investment portfolios of shareholder funds, general funds, and family funds of takaful enterprises in GCC and Malaysia
  • Actual versus desired investment portfolio composition of all three types of funds in both regions
  • Differences between the GCC and Malaysian takaful investment portfolios of the three fund types
  • Recent efforts to change the composition of takaful investment portfolios and the most likely areas for future investment
  • Expert recommendations for regulatory authorities, and Islamic banks.

The first and only in-depth study of its kind, Takaful Investment Portfolios is an indispensable resource for those working within the takaful industry and other areas of Islamic finance, as well as those in the conventional insurance and finance industries.

Dr. AbdulRahman Khalil Tolefat began his career at the Central Bank of Bahrain. He later served as both chief executive officer and chairman of Allianz Takaful in Bahrain, the global hub for Islamic insurance (takaful) of Allianz Group. After leaving Allianz, he founded ITQAN Financial Services for which he now serves as Chairman and Managing Director. In addition, Dr. Abdul Rahman was a member of the CBB Committee that developed the insurance rulebooks in coordination with PricewaterhouseCoopers and a member of the working group between the International Association for Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) and the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB).

Dr. Mehmet Asutay is a Reader in Middle Eastern and Islamic Political Economy and Finance at the School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University; Director of the Durham Centre for Islamic Economics and Finance; Course Director of the MA/MSc in Islamic Finance; and the Director of the Durham Islamic Finance Summer School. Also, he serves as Managing Editor of Review of Islamic Economics and Associate Editor of the American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, and is on the Editorial Advisory Board of International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management.

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

List of Abbreviations xv

CHAPTER 1 Introduction 1

Rationale for Researching Investment Portfolio Composition of Takaful Companies 1

Aims and Objectives 4

Scope and Delimitation 5

Research Methodology 6

Overview of the Book 6

CHAPTER 2 Insurance and Islamic Law: An Introduction to Takaful 9

The Concept of Insurance in Islamic Sources 9

Views of Contemporary Jurists on the Insurance Contract 13

Arguments Regarding the Validity or Invalidity of

Commercial Insurance 15

Conclusion 27

Notes 28

CHAPTER 3 Takaful Models and Implementations, Trends, and Developments 31

Takaful Undertaking Principles 31

Islamic Insurance Operational Models 32

Differences Between Takaful and Other Forms of Insurance 44

Trends and Developments in the Takaful Industry 45

Conclusion 52

Notes 53

CHAPTER 4 Research Methodology 55

Methodological Shortcomings of the Literature 56

Research Strategy 56

Research Questions, Objectives, and Hypotheses 57

Research Design 58

Sampling Strategy 59

Research Methods 61

Quantitative Data Analysis 68

Qualitative Data Analysis 70

Conclusion 70

Notes 71

CHAPTER 5 Exploring Investment Behaviours and Investment Portfolios of Takaful Operating Companies in the GCC and Malaysia 73

Total Investment Portfolio of Takaful Operating Companies for All Funds 74

Investments in Shareholders’ Fund 75

General Fund 86

Family Funds 94

Conclusion 97

CHAPTER 6 Locating the Differences Between Actual and Desired Investment Portfolios 99

Shareholders’ Fund 101

General Fund 106

Family Funds 111

Conclusion 114

CHAPTER 7 Contextualising the Findings 117

Overall Portfolio Compositions 117

Investment Accounts 125

Investment in Sukuks 129

Investment in Equities 134

Return on Investment (ROI) 138

Mutual Funds/Unit Trusts 140

Real Estate Investments 141

Conclusion 142

Notes 143

CHAPTER 8 Conclusion and Recommendations 145

Main Findings of the Study 145

Recommendations of the Study 149

Research Limitations 153

Recommendations for Future Research 153

Conclusion 154

Note 155

Appendix A 157

Appendix B 163

Appendix C 215

Bibliography 217

About the Authors 223

Index 225