Canada-based Sun Life Financial has forayed into the Malaysian insurance market with the launch of a new joint venture between Khazanah Nasional and CIMB Group Holdings to offer services in the country.

Sun Life Malaysia Assurance and Sun Life Malaysia Takaful, the renamed CIMB Aviva Assurance and CIMB Aviva Takaful entities, were acquired by Sun and Khazanah from Aviva International and CIMB.

Formed following the completion of RM1.8bn (C$602m) acquisition in April 2013, Sun and Khazanah will each own 49%, while CIMB Group will own a 2% stake in Sun Life Malaysia.

Sun Life Financial Asia president Kevin Strain said, "The Sun Life Malaysia management team and employees are united in building a great organization that is focused on becoming a provider of choice amongst Malaysians, helping to protect their financial futures," Strain added.

The new jointure will distribute takaful and life insurance products through CIMB Bank’s network of 312 branches and eight million customers across the country.

Sun Life Malaysia CEO Ooi Say Teng said that the company intends to introduce a wider range of insurance solutions aimed at addressing the different needs of Malaysians.

"We are rolling out new products that customers can buy with confidence and introducing new distribution channels that make it easier for customers to access our products at their convenience," Teng added.