Asian Finance Bank (AFB) has appointed Khalid Mahmood Bhaimia as its new chief executive officer effective from March 21, 2017. Bhaimia has over 20 years of experience in the global Islamic banking industry. He previously served as the CEO of Unicorn International Islamic Bank and RHB Islamic Bank as well as Hong Leong Islamic Bank’s managing director. AFP is a full-fledged Islamic bank and is backed by a consortium of shareholders comprising Middle Eastern financial institutions.
RHB Bank is eyeing the top three spot in the Islamic banking space for its syariah complaint unit. RHB Islamic Bank CEO Datuk Adissadikin Ali said growth in the recent past years had been strong and that the bank could continue riding on this growth. He said the contribution of Islamic banking assets to the group’s total assets is 25% and that the aim was to grow this figure to 40% by the year 2020. The group syariah business is identified as one of RHB’s key growth areas under its Ignite 2017 transformation programme. The bank intends to achieve by 2017 a return on equity of more than 14%, double contributions from Singapore to 10%, have 30% in overseas contribution, scale growth in small and medium enterprises, and have Islamic banking accounting for 30% of its assets.
Global Islamic finance players should develop data analytics ability in the Waqf, high-net worth individuals, stocks and infrastructure sectors. Data anlaytics would help them to capture the additional US$1 trillion market which will be available over the next 12 to 18 months. The survey entitled 'Banking in Emerging Market, Gulf Cooperation Council FinTech Play 2017' was launched at the three-day World Islamic Bank Conference (WIBC) 2016. The study found that between 60 and 70% of the participants believed fintech innovations offer end customers a noticeably better value proposition in terms of ease of use, cost, speed of service and integration with social media. Ernst and Young's Global Islamic Banking Sector Partner, Ashar M. Nazim said proper adoption of fintech technology by the global Islamic finance players would potentially increase the industry’s customer base to 250 million by 2020 from 100 million at present.
Standard Chartered's Islamic division is seeking banking licences in three African countries in order to offer its services to the population. According to the bank's head of Islamic banking, Mohammad Ali Allawalla, Standard Chartered Saadiq could enter at least one of three markets, Nigeria, Botswana and Zambia, as early as 2017. The bank is also in discussions about gaining an Islamic banking licence in Brunei in South East Asia. Standard Chartered Saadiq's core markets are Pakistan, Malaysia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and Bangladesh and in 2014 it entered the Kenyan market, its first move into Africa.
The International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM) has conducted an auction of US$1.11bil (RM4.63bil) three-month tenor sukuk priced at 1.35389% profit rate. The IILM said the 11 primary dealers that participated in the Sukuk offering were Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Al Baraka Turk, Barwa Bank, Boubyan Bank, CIMB Islamic Bank, Kuwait Finance House, Maybank Islamic, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Qatar Islamic Bank, Qatar National Bank and Standard Chartered Bank. The IILM Sukuk is rated A-1 by Standard & Poor's Rating Services and the 29th series brings the total cumulative amount of the IILM Sukuk that were issued and reissued to US$21.14bil (RM88.14bil).
RAM Ratings has reaffirmed the AA2/Stable ratings of Lingkaran Trans Kota’s (Litrak) Sukuk Musharakah IMTN I and II Programmes (2008/2023) with a combined value of up to RM1.45bil. The ratings reflect Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong’s (LDP) robust traffic profile, underscored by its strategic alignment through major townships, which supports its strong debt-servicing capability. According to RAM Ratings, Litrak will preserve its strong cashflow-generating ability, with an average projected annual pre-financing cashflow of about RM215mil throughout the Sukuk’s tenure. This translates into solid debt coverage, enabling the company to maintain a strong finance service coverage ratio of at least two times over the same period.
RAM Ratings sees Malaysia’s leadership in Islamic finance as a catalyst for environmental, social and governance (ESG)-driven investment. RAM Ratings CEO Foo Su Yin said for ESG growth the government needs to follow a similar path to that which has led to Malaysia’s leadership position in Islamic finance. PRI managing director Fiona Reynolds said that fiduciary duty remains the biggest barrier to ESG integration. She added that investors and policymakers need to work together to ensure sustainability issues continue to gain traction. There are compelling national-interest reasons for policy makers to promote the incorporation of ESG factors into investment practices in China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea.
Malaysian corporate sukuk sales are rebounding from a four-year low. RHB Investment Bank sees issuance rising 7% to RM60.2bil in 2016, encouraged by Bank Negara’s monetary easing in July. AmInvestment Bank forecasts as much as RM70bil. Sukuk sales have picked up after Najib kicked off US$16bil of road and subway projects this year in partnership with the private sector. This month the Public Sector Home Financing Board sold RM3.4bil of Government-guaranteed Islamic notes, while Lebuhraya Duke Fasa 3 Sdn. offered RM3.64bil of syariah debt to finance a highway in Kuala Lumpur. Fundraising is needed for construction of 1,800km of roads being built in Sabah and Sarawak. Other potential issuers include Prasarana Malaysia, which is financing a RM10bil extension of Kuala Lumpur’s light-rail network.
Kuwait Finance House (KFH Malaysia) has appointed David Power as its new chief executive officer (CEO). Power, who has been Kuwait Finance House (KFHK) group chief retail and private banking officer since 2014, is now replacing Ahmed S. Al Kharji. KFH Malaysia had also appointed Nor Azzam Abdul Jalil as its deputy CEO and chief (consumer banking) effective June 1, and David Wee Kim Peng as chief operating officer, effective April 1. KFH Malaysia was established on Aug 8, 2005.
In #Malaysia Bank Negara governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim said Islamic banking assets made up 27% of the total banking system, surpassing Bank Negara’s Financial Sector Masterplan. He said that there were 27 takaful players offering more than 100 financial products now compared with fewer than four Islamic banks and takaful players before year 2000. He added that the penetration rate for takaful now stood at 14.8% of the population, indicating growing acceptance of takaful products. On the launch of the Educator’s Manual on Shariah Standard Murabahah, Muhammad said that the manual was aimed to act as a comprehensive teaching guide to enhance the Islamic finance syllabus. It was jointly developed by Bank Negara in collaboration with the International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance and IBFIM.
Swiss insurer Zurich Insurance Company has bought MAA Takaful (MAAT) from MAA Group and Solidarity Group Holding to expand its insurance and takaful business in Malaysia. Zurich Insurance Malaysia CEO Philip Smith said the company will be able to provide a wide range of insurance and takaful solutions across multiple customer segments, supported by the technical and servicing expertise in the wider Zurich Group. The acquisition cost RM525 mn and about RM400 mn was paid at the closing of the transaction. The remaining amount will be paid on the third anniversary after the closing.
S&P Global Ratings expects Sukuk issuance will remain muted over the next 6 to 18 months, with total issuance of US$50 bil to US$55 bil in 2016. The ratings agency explained that plummeting oil prices have not boosted sukuk issuance despite some commentators' expectations. Instead, total issuance actually dropped in 2015 compared with the previous year. S&P Global Ratings Global head of Islamic finance Mohamed Damak said while governments affected by the price drop are looking to spending cuts, their financing needs remain significant. At the same time, he believes the European Central Bank's quantitative easing programme and the entrance of a few new issuers to the Sukuk market will continue to support issuance volumes.
OCBC Malaysia head of consumer financial services Lim Wyson said increasing the number of products under the Islamic asset class will appeal to a broader range of investors. The size of Malaysia’s Islamic capital market had more than tripled over the last 10 years, with an average growth of 11.7% per annum and accounted 60% of the entire capital market in the country.
#Malaysia’s #takaful industry is set to double its growth rate this year as companies focus on selling cheaper policies in rural areas. Malaysian Takaful Association's chairman Ahmad Rizlan Azman said the number of policies would rise 10% to 5.05 million in 2016, compared with 4.3% growth in 2015. Insurers entering the micro-takaful market and the liberalisation of commission structures are the biggest drivers.
Chairman of CIMB Group Holdings, Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, is taking leave of absence to facilitate the review of the bank’s anti-money laundering processes. Earlier this month, Nazir was identified as one of the persons whom his brother, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, had assigned the task of disbursing US$7mil (RM27.2mil) in the run-up to the 2013 general election. The review is expected to be complete in a few weeks, by which time the board of directors will decide whether Nazir will maintain his positions in the group.
Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd targets to sell about 320kg of Muamalat Gold-i (MGi) valued at about RM56mil for the financial year ending March 31, 2017 (FY17). Chief operating officer (Business), Mashitah Osman, said MGi was the bank’s latest initiative to boost its wealth management segment. Physical gold bars are available in five, 10, 20, 50 and 100gm. Without any publicity, the bank has sold over 80kg worth RM14mil since it was opened to the public two-and-a half months ago, Osman said. Meanwhile, vice-president/head wealth management departmen, Nur Ain Ramli, said the bank expected the gold business to contribute about 60% of the total fee income for the wealth management segment for FY17.
Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) and Singapore-based RB Capital inked a S$260mil (RM751mil) Islamic financing deal, one of the biggest Islamic deals in Singapore. The landmark deal involved a 442-room mid-tier Holiday Inn Express Singapore Clarke Quay as the underlying security. The bank is continuously looking at growing its Islamic banking business in the region, especially in Singapore and Indonesia, which each currently accounts for about 5.0% of Maybank Islamic’s revenue. Maybank Group’s Islamic banking business in 2015 surged 20.4% in total income compared to the year before.
Maybank Islamic Bhd is confident its Islamic banking business in Singapore will contribute further to revenue in the future. Group head, Islamic banking, and chief executive officer Datuk Muzaffar Hisham said this was in view of the ongoing support from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in promoting Islamic banking. Muzaffar said in less than three years, Islamic banking in Singapore had contributed about 5% to its revenue. It is reported that Singapore's central bank will continue to strengthen Islamic finance owing to its cross-border growth. The report said that since MAS established its sukuk facility in 2009, there had been eight sukuk issuances totalling S$600 million (RM1.7 billion).
UDA Holdings Bhd has signed financing agreements with financial institutions for a syndicated Islamic financing facility of up to RM500mil to finance its eight projects with an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM1.62bil. The financiers are Affin Islamic Bank Bhd, AmBank Islamic Bhd, RHB Islamic Bank Bhd, Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd and Kuwait Finance House (M) Bhd. UDA managing director Datuk Ahmad Abu Bakar said the finance facility would be use to partly fund the construction of the projects nationwide and the rest would be funded by sales. The eight projects comprise commercial and residential developments.
Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) has appointed Datuk Mohaiyani Shamsudin as chairman of Maybank Investment Bank and Datuk R Karunakaran as Chairman of Etiqa Insurance Bhd (EIB) and Etiqa Takaful Bhd (ETB). Maybank said the changes in chairmanship of its key subsidiaries followed the retirement of some directors. Mohaiyani is currently a director of Maybank. She is also the chairman of Maybank Asset Management Group Bhd and Maybank Asset Management Sdn Bhd. Karunakaran is a director of Maybank and currently sits on the boards of Maybank (Cambodia) Plc, and others. In addition, he is a director of Bursa Malaysia Bhd, IOI Corporation Bhd and Integrated Logistics Bhd.