KUALA LUMPUR: MPHB Capital Bhd, listed three weeks ago on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia, has set a mission to be among the top four local general insurers by 2015.
MPHB Capital COO Kheoh And Yeng said as at end 2012, it was ranked 12th inclusive of foreign companies and eighth among local insurance companies.
"In three years time, we estimate that the industry's total gross premium will be RM19.3 billion assuming a growth of 8% annually for the industry.
"We expect to rank 10th inclusive of foreign companies and fourth among local companies by then," Kheoh told The Edge Financial Daily in an email interview.
What Kheoh meant by local general insurance companies are those wholly owned by Malaysian shareholders as well as those partly owned by foreigners.
Kheoh said MPHB commanded a market share of 3.3% as of 2012.
MPHB Capital is a spinoff of the MULTI-PURPOSE HOLDINGS BHD  group's financial business following a corporate exercise to separate the group's gaming and non-gaming assets.
MPHB Capital's mainstay is its insurance business via wholly owned Multi-Purpose Insurans Bhd (MPIB). MPIB, which generates 75.9% of the group's revenue in 2012, has a strong focus on fire insurance and travel insurance.
“Our strategy to grow our fire business is through our focused marketing channels.
"We recruit agents who have a more balanced portfolio of business, for instance, with a non-motor and motor premium ratio of 60:40," said Kheoh.
"Secondly, we also focus on the broking channel which usually represents and handles big corporate accounts with high sum insured on PROPERTIES .
"Thirdly, we also work closely with banks to tap into their fire insurance on mortgaged properties," she added.
As for the company's travel insurance, Kheoh claims that the premium it charges for its product is more competitive than its competitors.
She added that the company is also promoting its travel personal accident insurance through tele-marketing and travel agencies.
On its undeveloped landbank, Kheoh said that the company does not intend to develop the tracts but is seeking options to maximise the assets' value through either outright sale or joint ventures.
According to its prospectus, MPHB Capital has a landbank of 906.5 acres (366.8ha) located in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang, Johor and Terengganu.
Kheoh said, “There is no timeline (for assets disposal and joint ventures) while we will diligently work on getting the best value to ensure the shareholders' benefit."
MPHB Cap's share price rose 0.71% to close at RM1.41 last Friday, after gaining momentum to close at an all-time-high at RM1.45 on July 5.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on July 15, 2013.