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Friday, September 18, 2009

ING expects growth in mortgage portfolio

ING Insurance Bhd anticipates its total mortgage portfolio to grow this year, backed by its latest fixed-rate home loan that offers the lowest rate.

The insurer has had strong demand since it started offering a fixed interest rate of 4.85 per cent with zero entry cost since January this year.

Currently, the mortgage portfolio accounts for less than 10 per cent of ING's RM3 billion asset under management.

Although it is a small portfolio, the mortgage business is a profitable one for ING, which is one of the few insurers in the country that offer home loans.

It has started giving out the fixed interest rate loan since 1985.
ING Insurance's latest programme comprises fixed rate packages for properties priced from RM100,000 to RM5 million.

Speaking at a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, chief investment officer Mark Wang said bank's interest rates could rise in the future and borrowers need to know their options.

"We expect the Malaysian economy to regain growth next year, and when that happens there could be an upward movement in terms of interest rates and investors need to be aware now of other alternatives mortgage loans which will allow them to lock in their borrowing cost and without having to worry of any increasing rates in the future," he said.

Chief operating officer Isold Heemstra said fixed interest rate home loan can offer more certainty and peace of mind.

"The interest rate is fixed at a certain rate throughout the life of the loan, which means that you will know exactly how much is going out every month of your home loan repayment.

"This stable interest rate is an ideal alternative for those who seek financial stability and have the desire to plan ahead," he added.

By Business Times (by Rupinder Singh)

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