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Islamic Finance Briefing - Archive | April, 2009

US-based firm to launch two Shariah funds

Posted on 30 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Business24-7.ae: US-based Shariah Capital will launch two Shariah- compliant products, one of which will be a real estate fund, its chief executive officer said.

The new funds will be launched after Ramadaan this year, he said. The firm had launched four Shariah compliant funds in Dubai early this year…….Full Article: Source

Islamic finance outlook positive

Posted on 30 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Business24-7.ae: Islamic finance and asset management industry have brighter prospects in the region and will see some consolidation in 2009, regional banking experts said.

Jamal Hijres, Chief Executive of Capinnova Investment Bank – an Islamic investment banking arm of Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait, said: “We are confident about the Islamic finance industry’s future and we are one of the prime examples to support that confidence as our bank was launched in January 2009…….Full Article: Source

GCC economies heading towards stability after volatility of Q4 2008

Posted on 30 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Business24-7.ae: Volatility that plagued GCC economies in the last quarter of 2008 has subsided and the hydrocarbon rich region is heading towards a economic stability, a key Kuwaiti financial centre said yesterday.

“We have a neutral view for the second quarter of 2009. This is because we still expect earnings weakness to continue along with weak liquidity. However, the good point is that volatility has cooled off significantly,” Markaz said in its new report…….Full Article: Source

ACCA welcomes UK Budget’s new Islamic finance measures

Posted on 30 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gaapweb.com: The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has welcomed the Treasury’s latest plans to remove tax barriers to some Islamic finance products.

Under the measures laid out by chancellor Alistair Darling in last week’s Budget, alternative finance property investment bunds, such as those favoured by Islamic financiers, will receive relief from stamp duty land tax (SDLT)…….Full Article: Source

Malaysia needs to improve and become trendsetter in Islamic Finance, says Economist

Posted on 30 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bernama.com: Malaysia needs to further improve and become the trendsetter for Muslim nations in terms of the Islamic financial system. The former executive director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Dr Abbas Mirakhor said rather than compare itself with the Islamic financial structure of other Muslim countries, Malaysia should focus on enhancing its current framework.

“I think right now, Malaysia is showing the way for the Muslim world in terms of not only economics but also from the social point of view,” he told Bernama when asked about the global perception of the country’s Islamic financial structure…….Full Article: Source

Mecca project latest Saudi credit squeeze casualty

Posted on 30 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Reuters: A Saudi firm said on Wednesday it could not secure $3.3 billion financing for a property project near holy shrines in Mecca, in a fresh sign of the continued impact of the global financial crisis on the kingdom.

Jabal Omar Development Co 4250.SE hired private investment bank Jadwa Investment in July to arrange the 12.4 billion riyals financing for its giant real estate project near the Grand Mosque on some of the world’s most lucrative land plots…….Full Article: Source

KL, Bishkek in Islamic finance tie-up

Posted on 30 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Btimes.com: The Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM) has joined hands with Kyrgyzstan’s Ecobank to venture into human capital development in Islamic finance.

In a statement, the IBFIM, a leading human capital developer in shariah-based business advisory said it would collaborate in providing expertise and resources to develop the modules content and trainers for the programme…….Full Article: Source

Standardisation issue is important to banks

Posted on 30 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Business24-7.ae: A top Islamic finance body plans to launch a global study on how far markets adhere to its benchmarks with a view to standardising products, reflecting industry efforts to remove a key barrier to growth.

Islamic financial markets have struggled to agree on the use of some banking practices, due to different readings of the Shariah. This can make it tough to sell products across borders but some say the diversity of opinion encourages innovation…….Full Article: Source

QFCA to grant 25 business licences in 2009

Posted on 30 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Business24-7.ae: The Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA) expects to grant about 25 financial and business licenses in 2009 as continued economic growth attracts companies, a spokeswoman said yesterday.

“We are receiving high level of interest from firms already operating in the Gulf to use the QFC as a regional hub for them,” she said…….Full Article: Source

Islamic lender Kuveyt Turk offers $115 mln loan fund

Posted on 30 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Forbes: Islamic lender Kuveyt Turk, majority-owned by Kuwait Finance House, said on Wednesday it had set up a $115 million loan facility, provided by Gulf and European banks, to offer to Turkish companies.

Kuveyt Turk said it had borrowed the money at LIBOR +2.5 percent for one year and would be providing funds to Turkish companies in ’serious funding needs’…….Full Article: Source

Turkey issues $461.1 million revenue-indexed bond

Posted on 30 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Forbes: Turkey’s Treasury said it issued 737.8 million lira ($461.1 million) worth of a revenue-indexed bond on Wednesday, meeting demand completely.

The bond, which has a redemption date of May 4, 2010, will have two coupon payments, the Treasury said in a statement…….Full Article: Source

GS Caltex hires Merrill, RHB for first Korean Islamic bond sale

Posted on 30 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bloomberg: GS Caltex Corp., South Korea’s second-largest oil refiner, hired Merrill Lynch & Co. and RHB Investment Bank Bhd. to help it sell what may be the country’s first Islamic bonds, known as sukuk.

The Seoul-based company plans to raise as much as 1 billion ringgit ($278 million) from bonds in dollars and the Malaysian currency and will meet investors in the Middle East and the U.K. next month, Chay Wai Leong, RHB Investment’s chief executive officer, said…….Full Article: Source

Dubai Financial Market profit falls 81pc

Posted on 30 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Tradearabia.com: Bourse operator Dubai Financial Market posted an 81.4-percent decline in first-quarter net profit, but described its performance as a success in view of the global financial crisis.

“DFM’s success in securing a good profitability in light of international markets circumstances reflects effectiveness of both business model and cost control measures,” it said in a statement on Wednesday…….Full Article: Source

Abu Dhabi Islamic Q1 net up 10pc

Posted on 30 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Tradearabia.com: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank posted on Wednesday a 9.8 per cent rise in first-quarter net profit to Dh268.3 million ($73.04 million), saying it was cautiously optimistic for the year but concerned about rising defaults.

The results compared with a net profit of 244.25 million dirhams ($66.48 million) in the first quarter of 2008, the bank said…….Full Article: Source

Emirates NBD posts $343m Q1 profit

Posted on 30 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Tradearabia.com: Dubai’s Emirates NBD earned Dh1.26 billion ($343 million) in the first quarter, up 5.3 per cent from the year-earlier period.

Analysts’ forecasts for Emirates NBD’s profit were for profit of Dh78.03 million and Dh1.12 billion, according to a Reuters survey this month…….Full Article: Source

Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes in April: The new dawn?

Posted on 30 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Ameinfo.com: April was a good month for investors. Moreover, it was a good month for those who invested in Shariah-compliant stocks in emerging markets.

As of the close of April 27, the Dow Jones Islamic Market (DJIM) Indonesia Index posted its largest profit, gaining 18.13%…….Full Article: Source

Islamic finance and magical money

Posted on 30 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Beliefnet.com: One of the central differences between the Islamic and conventional approaches to finance is that our own cults - which may well see a revision before the end of this crisis - ascribe supernatural powers to money.

Cult specialists are at great pains to understand and control how it works, but admit that it does so in magical ways that go beyond the effects of human commerce (for the markets, too, have magical attributes, including innate goodness). Whatever we want from money, we suspect, as devotees, that in the end it will always behave as it sees fit…….Full Article: Source

UAE MoFT proposes strategies to boost Gulf foreign trade

Posted on 30 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Menafn.com: UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade (MoFT) Director General H.E. Abdullah Bin Ahmed Al Saleh outlined suggestions to maintain foreign trade growth in the Gulf region amidst the global financial crisis.

H.E. Al Saleh said: “One important aspect that has helped the Gulf avoid most of the negative effects of the crisis is the active commercial relations among its members. In 2007, trade within the region amounted to AED 40.4 billion, representing a growth rate of 12 per cent. Most of the Gulf’s countries rank among the top 10 trading partners of the UAE. Our volume of trade with Arab countries rose to AED 32.3 billion in 2007, representing a solid 13 per cent growth.”……Full Article: Source

Mena growth to halve as oil falls: World Bank

Posted on 29 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulf-times.com: Economic growth in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region is set to halve to 3% this year with the collapse of oil prices, demand and worker remittances, a senior World Bank official said yesterday.
Daniela Gressani, World Bank vice president for the region, said countries outside the Gulf such as Iran, Syria and Algeria, which have expensive state subsidy programmes, will be hit the hardest by lower oil prices……Full Article: Source

S&P warns high costs may curtail sukuk growth

Posted on 29 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Arabianbusiness.com: High financing costs may curtail the future growth of sukuk in the Gulf, according to a report by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services.

Investor enthusiasm for the Islamic bonds may be discouraged by the high cost of structuring and issuing sukuk, accounting fees, a real estate downturn, low hydrocarbon prices and their predominantly local investor appeal, the agency said in a report on Tuesday……Full Article: Source

Recovery seen in global sukuk market this year

Posted on 29 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thestar.com.my: The global sukuk market could be in for a revival this year following the sharp drop in 2008. Latest projections showed at least US$10bil of sukuk could be issued, said Securities Commission chairman Datuk Seri Zarinah Anwar at the Islamic Finance Asia Summit yesterday.

She said the demand was reflected in the over-subscription of the US dollar-denominated sovereign sukuk issued by Indonesia recently. The sukuk received US$4.7bil worth of subscriptions, seven times over the US$650mil of the sukuk offered……Full Article: Source

IFIs to face hit in profit if realty prices freefall

Posted on 29 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Business24-7.ae: Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) face a significant hit on profits if real estate prices continue to fall in the Middle East, ratings agency S&P said yesterday.

IFIs’ direct exposure to real estate assets in 2008 reached 20 per cent of total loans, making them vulnerable to an ongoing correction in the previously fast-growing sector, the agency said in a report……Full Article: Source

Islamic finance industry will consolidate and grow in 2009

Posted on 29 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Albawaba.com: According to the recent Standard and Poor’s rating agency - Islamic banking is expected to reach US$4 trillion in the next 5 years. ‘Capinnova Investment Bank’ - the Shari’a compliant investment banking arm of Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait (BBK) is confident about the Islamic finance industry in the region and predicts that it will gather momentum in 2009.
Capinnova is licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain; the bank is well capitalized and is wholly owned by BBK. Capinnova has an authorized capital of US$500 million and paid-up capital of US$125 million…..Full Article: Source

Algebra Capital CEO very positive about the future of Islamic finance industry

Posted on 29 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

Algebra Capital, the leading emerging markets asset management firm focusing on the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) regions, who manage assets in both private and public markets across all asset classes today, commented that the future of shari’a compliant asset management industry remains extremely positive.

The comments were made by Ziad Makkawi, founder and CEO of Algebra Capital, at the International Islamic Finance Forum, under the esteemed patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, which took place this week at the JW Marriott Hotel Dubai……Full Press Release: Source

Standardisation sells, sharia financial body says

Posted on 29 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Guardian.co.uk: A top Islamic finance body said on Tuesday it wants to launch a global study on how far markets adhere to its benchmarks with a view to standardising products, reflecting industry efforts to remove a key barrier to growth.

Islamic financial markets have struggled to agree on the use of some banking practices, due to different readings of the sharia. This can make it tough to sell products across borders but some say the diversity of opinion encourages innovation……Full Article: Source

Dubai Islamic to boost capital by $816 mln

Posted on 29 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Maktoob.com: Dubai Islamic Bank’s shareholders agreed Monday to increase its capital by 3 billion dirhams ($816 million) over five years. The bank said in an emailed statement that shareholders at a general assembly also agreed to convert an 3.75 billion-dirham deposit from the Ministry of Finance into Tier 2 capital.

The approval of the capital increase will help protect “the lending position of the bank during the current global financial crisis,” DIB Chairman Mohammed Ibrahim al-Shaibani said in the statement……Full Article: Source

Tamweel, Amlak revamp decision due ‘in weeks’

Posted on 29 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Gulfnews.com: A decision on how to restructure Islamic mortgage firms Amlak and Tamweel will be made in “weeks” with the federal government pumping money into the firms, Tamweel’s chairman said.

The fate of merger of the two firms has been under review by a federal government committee this year since the UAE government announced in November it was merging them with two state-controlled banks……Full Article: Source

Bahrain plans to sell $500 mln 5-yr sukuk

Posted on 29 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Forbes.com: Bahrain has mandated three lead arrangers for its planned $500 million Islamic bond issue that will help it cover its budget deficit due to lower oil revenues, IFR reported on Tuesday.

Credit Agricole’s investment arm Calyon, Deutsche Bank and HSBC are lead arrangers of the Islamic bond issue, said IFR Markets, a Thomson Reuters online news and market analysis service……Full Article: Source

New Takaful licenses will help industry growth

Posted on 29 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bernama: The Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) said the issuance of two new takaful licenses will further increase takaful penetration rate in Malaysia which is currently at a very low level.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Monday announced various measures to liberalise the financial sector, among them the offer of takaful licenses to players who can bring significant value proposition to Malaysia to spur the development of the industry……Full Article: Source

Indonesia: Sharia banking assets projected to grow 44 percent

Posted on 29 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Tempointeractive.com: Bank Indonesia projected shariah banking growth in Indonesia could take the overall asset value of local sharia banking to around Rp 75 trilion this year.

In a seminar in Jakarta on Tuesday (28/4) Sharia Banking Director of the central bank Ramzi Zuhdi said the structure of sharia banking system which relies heavily on conservative financial instruments has made it less exposed to the impacts of the recent financial recession……Full Article: Source

Indonesia’s Islamic banks strive up amid economy crisis

Posted on 29 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Cri.cn: Indonesia’s Islamic banks are capable of avoiding the negative impacts from the ongoing economy crisis by providing the most reasonable financial service for the people, a senior Islamic bank official said in Jakarta Tuesday.
Indonesia’s Islamic banks are capable of avoiding the negative impacts from the ongoing economy crisis by providing the most reasonable financial service for the people, a senior Islamic bank official said in Jakarta Tuesday……Full Article: Source

Malaysia regulator sees $10 bln Islamic bond issues this year

Posted on 29 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Reuters: Malaysia’s capital market regulator estimated on Tuesday that global Islamic bond issuance this year would be worth at least $10 billion.

That would suggest a slide in issuance compared with 2008, which itself showed a sharp decline in issuance from 2007……Full Article: Source

ABC names new Islamic finance head

Posted on 29 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Tradearabia.com: ABC International Bank (ABCIB) has appointed Faisal Alshowaikh as head of Islamic Financial Services, to be based in London.

He will grow and develop the bank’s Islamic finance business, which was first established in late 1999, and includes real estate, leasing and Islamic home finance through its alburaq retail finance business……Full Article: Source

Eversheds enters Saudi market with alliance

Posted on 29 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Legalbusinessonline.com: Eversheds has expanded its footprint in the Gulf region after announcing it will open in Saudi Arabia through a cooperation with local firm Hani Qurashi Law Firm (HQ) and will have a physical presence in both Jeddah and Riyadh.

The joint venture will be managed by Amjad Hussain, Eversheds’ astute head of Islamic banking in the Middle East and Christopher Jobson, the firm’s energetic managing partner for the Middle East……Full Article: Source

Study on Shariah banking to keep eye on standards

Posted on 29 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thejakartaglobe.com: A top Islamic finance body said on Tuesday that it would launch a global study on how markets adhere to its benchmarks with a view to standardizing products, reflecting industry efforts to remove a key barrier to growth.

Islamic financial markets have struggled to agree on the use of some banking practices, due to different readings of the Shariah. This can make it tough to sell products across borders but some say the diversity of opinion encourages innovation……Full Article: Source

Meezan Islamic Fund outperforms its benchmark

Posted on 29 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From App.com.pk: Meezan Islamic Fund (MIF) has substantially outperformed its benchmark Dow Jones Islamic Index and other indexes on Karachi stock exchange during the quarter ended March 31, 2009.

Chief Executive Al Meezan Investments, Mr. Mohammad Shoaib CFA stated this on Tuesday while highlighting the performance of largest equity fund in the private sector……Full Article: Source

QFC sees 25 new licenses in 2009

Posted on 29 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Tradearabia.com: The Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA) expects to grant about 25 financial and business licenses in 2009 as continued economic growth attracts companies, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

“We are receiving high level of interest from companies already operating in the Middle East region to use the QFC as a regional hub for them,” Layla Salem said. “Also we have the same interest from international firms with high demand for asset management applications.”…..Full Article: Source

Kenya: Islamic banking registers tremendous growth

Posted on 29 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Kbc.co.ke: The Islamic banking system has emerged as one of the fastest growing sectors in the international and local financial system. In this regard Gulf bank Tuesday hosted the first East and Central Africa Islamic Finance conference in Nairobi with the view of enhancing knowledge on the principles of Islamic banking.

Speaking at the conference Assistant minister for finance Oburu Odinga asked financial sector players offering Islamic banking to broaden their products and promote their services to attract potential partners……Full Article: Source

Islamic group, MSU vow to strengthen cooperation

Posted on 29 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Mb.com.ph: With a warm handshake, World Islamic Call Society Philippine representative Secretary Muhammad E. Elballushi and Mindanao State University president Dr. Macapado A. Muslim vowed to strengthen their cooperation for the benefit of the education of Filipinos, particularly the Bangsamoro people.

As this developed, Elballushi invited Muslims to visit Libya and learn more about WICS programs. WICS is a Libyan-based international humanitarian and relief organization with many offices around the world, including Manila, where it has a number of peace and development-related projects……Full Article: Source

Shariah bankers: West ready for faith-based alternative

Posted on 29 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Islamicfinancenews: Backers of Shariah-compliant finance see an opportunity for expansion amid the global economic downturn, and some Western banks are welcoming this growing source of new business.

“Islamic bankers should do some missionary work in the Western world to promote the concept of Shariah banking, for which many in the West are more than ready now,” Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said at the World Islamic Economic Forum last month in Jakarta……Full Article: Source

An Islamic alternative to the banking crisis

Posted on 29 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Mcclatchydc.com: After watching the international financial system teeter on the brink of collapse in recent years, lawmakers here have agreed to allow local banks to apply the principles of Islamic finances.
Supporters say the move will provide the country with a viable alternative to the Western banking model and help protect Kyrgyzstan during these uncertain economic times. Opponents, however, say approving practices from the Islamic world is a worrisome sign as it suggests this Central Asian state is losing sight of the secular principles on which it was founded……Full Article: Source

UK promotes City as center for global Islamic finance

Posted on 28 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Menafn.com: The Islamic Sukuk market received a potentially major boost in the UK budget 2009 announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling in the House of Commons last week.
The chancellor confirmed in his budget statement three further measures on alternative finance instruments (the euphemism for Islamic finance referred to in the UK legislation) as part of the ongoing drive to promote the UK as a center for Islamic finance……Full Article: Source

Sukuk market in the Gulf needs to be regulated

Posted on 28 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Business24-7.ae: The Gulf can foster growth in Islamic bonds (sukuk) market by adopting regulations and going in for measures such as credit rating, say analysts.

Even as the GCC holds a lion’s share in the global sukuk market, estimated at $130 billion (Dh477bn), it lags behind when it comes to regulations. And a model like the one followed by Malaysia can help it tap the massive potential that the segment holds, they said……Full Article: Source

Global crisis affects sukuk issuance

Posted on 28 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Zawya.com: Asian Islamic bond (sukuk) market has undergone a significant drop in issuance levels - a direct result of the fallout from the global financial crisis - but it also shows resilience and good long-term prospects, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

“Most of the current challenges are because of the adverse nature of the global credit environment and the associated increase in risk perceptions and widening in spreads,” said Dominique Gribot-Carroz, Moody’s Vice-President and Business Development Executive……Full Article: Source

Takaful penetration to grow to 12 pct by 2012

Posted on 28 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Bernama: The Government’s move to allow greater tie-up among local insurance and takaful operators with foreign partners would help to increase the takaful industry penetration, an industry player said.

Takaful Ikhlas Sdn Bhd president and chief executive officer, Syed Moheeb Syed Kamarulzaman, said with the liberalisation he expected the takaful industry penetration to grow to 12 percent by 2012, from about seven percent of the local insurance market currently……Full Article: Source

Financial crisis: Should Islamic banks share equal responsibility?

Posted on 28 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Menafn.com: Comments made by Professor Mahmoud El Gamal, chairman of Islamic Economics, Finance and Management at Rice University in Houston, Texas, while attending a seminar in Abu Dhabi recently on Africa-Arab Gulf relations have caused many to do a double-take of sorts on the entire Islamic banking industry.

El Gamal was reportedly commenting on the global financial crisis and stated that he felt that Islamic banks should also share equal responsibility with conventional commercial banks and financial institutions for the current global recession……Full Article: Source

Islamic bank looks to Scottish brokers

Posted on 28 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Mortgagesolutions-online.com: Islamic Bank of Britain has officially launched its Home Purchase Plan (HPP), the Sharia’a compliant mortgage alternative, in Scotland.

The back said the Home Purchase Plan meets the demand from new homebuyers and existing home owners looking for alternatives modes of finance during the difficult times brought on by the credit crunch……Full Article: Source

Malaysia retools finance

Posted on 28 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From WSJ: Malaysia unveiled a liberalization of its financial sector, promising to issue new licenses for up to nine financial institutions by 2011 and allowing higher foreign-equity participation in select sectors.

The move underscored Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s intent to attract foreign investment and diversify sources of growth, though it fell short of scrapping restrictions on foreign shareholdings in Malaysian banks……Full Article: Source

Malaysia to let foreigners hold up to 70 percent of insurers, investment banks

Posted on 28 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Latimes.com: Malaysia announced Monday it will let foreigners hold a majority stake in insurance companies and investment banks, while five more foreign banks will be allowed to operate by 2011 in major steps toward financial liberalization.

Prime Minister Najib Razak told reporters he is raising the foreign ownership cap in insurance companies and investment banks — known as noncommercial banks — from 49 percent at present to 70 percent……Full Article: Source

Central Bank: New banking and insurance licences to bolster growth

Posted on 28 April 2009 by Laxman  |  Email|Print

From Thestar.com.my: The new banking and insurance licences that will be given out in the liberalisation of the financial sector are meant to plug the gaps in the country’s financial system and launch the sector as a key driver of economic growth in the country.

“This is consistent with the financial sector masterplan. We issued the financial sector masterplan in 2001 and we are now in the final stages,” said Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz. “We want a diversified economy with balanced growth.”…..Full Article: Source

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