Malaysia

Projections for Takaful - Views of Best RE CEO

Nopporn Wong-Anan wrote in Arabianbusiness on 30 March that Saleh Malaikah, chairman of Islamic reinsurance operator BEST Re sees the takaful business growing by 17 % over the next 3 years. The growth prospects lying in the fact that insurance coverage is not widely used in the Middle East and shows therefore potential; Saudi Arabia has a market share of 20 % in takaful from the overall insurance market, and promises the highest growth rate. In Malaysia the takaful market share has reached 30 %.

CIMB Islamic has USD 2.5 bn Sukuk in pipeline / plans infrastructure fund

B.K. SIDHU reported in The Star Malaysia on 30 Marcht that it has won 19 mandeates to raise nearly USD 2.5 bn from the Islamic capital markets and that it is planned to launch a USD 500 mn infrastructure fund. The issuers of the Sukuk are partially situated in the Gulf including a sovereign.

Badlisyah Abdul Ghani is the CIMB Islamic chief executive officer.

Bursa Malaysia Readies Islamic Short-Selling System

Bursa Malaysia’s regulated platform has not finalised the precise structure yet. But according to Bursa Malaysia CEO Yusli Mohamed Yusoff Short-selling is perceived as an essential ingredient for capital markets to perform efficiently.

Malaysian Rating Corp. plans to offer Sharia Ratings

Malaysian Rating Corp. starts offering from July 2009 onwards services to rate the degree of Sharia compliance of Islamic financial institutions. The audit will review the risk management culture and frequence of Sharia meetings aside from management skills.

The Agency targets fund managers, insurers and banks in Malaysia first before it plans expansion to South-East Asia.

Mohd Razlan Mohamed is the CEO of the Malaysian Rating Corp.

Unicorn Malaysia aims to service demand among SMEs

Unicorn International Islamic Bank Malaysia Bhd, aims to achieve transactions totalling USD 400 mn to USD 500 mn this year as the demand for medium-sized issuance, especially sukuk and cross-border transactions from small and medium enterprises, continued to be strong with a ticket size of USD 50 to 100. A focus would be on bridging and construction financing, as well as placement of equities and funds.

Unicorn has four business lines – treasury, corporate banking, investment banking, and strategic acquisitions/direct investment.

Unicorn Malaysia announces maiden net profit

Unicorn International Islamic Bank Malaysia Berhad has reported a net profit of MYR 812,546 (USD 223,993) for 2008, its first full year of operation with an international Islamic bank license awarded under the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) initiative. Unicorn Malaysia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bahrain-based Unicorn Investment Bank.

The bank, with the BNM’s approval, has also increased its paid-up capital via a non-renounceable rights issue. As of year-end 2008, the Bank’s paid-up capital stood at MYR 71.9 million (USD 19.8 mn), versus a MIFC minimum capital requirement of MYR 10 million (USD 2.7 mn)

Unicorn Malaysia has four business lines: Treasury, Corporate Banking, Investment Banking and Strategic Acquisitions/Direct Investment.

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i-VCAP Receives Securities Commission approval to be a full-fledged Islamic Fund Management Company

i-VCAP Management Sdn Bhd announced it has received approval from the Securities Commission to operate as an Islamic fund management company. The firm is doing Islamic fund management under the general licence for some time.

Zainal Izlan Zainal Abidin is the CEO.

Global sukuk sales to fall again in 2009

Experts are expecting further drop in Sukuk isssuance in 2009. Local currencies help to support the markets, K. Salman Younis, head of Kuwait Finance House's Asian operations was cited.

Malaysia’s capital market fundamentals stronger: Securities Commission

Malaysia’s capital market is fundamentally and prudentially stronger than during the 1997/98 financial crisis, according to the Securities Commission (SC). The market’s exposure to the current global financial turmoil is indirect, the commission said in its Annual Report 2008 released yesterday.

The country also guarantees 100 % of bank deposit until 2010, it said.
The Malaysian Islamic capital market also proved to be relatively resilient with 47 sukuk issues worth RM 43.2 bn approved by the SC last year, which accounted for 31 % of all corporate bonds approved.

Malaysia's PLUS issues RM 745 mn Sukuk

Malaysia's PLUS Expressways issues additional RM 745 mn via a specical purpose company, PLUS SPV Berhad based on Musharaka to investors identified via a book building process. The size of the book was successfully increased from RM 400 mn to RM 745 mn under the Sukuk program.

Malaysian bourse to launch Commodity Murabaha platform in June

Liau Y-Sing reported on Reuters, 5 March that Malaysia's stock exchange will launch in June a platform to allow banks to execute Commodity Murabaha transactions, a popular but controversial Islamic contract with a market worth more than USD 100 bn according to the International Islamic Financial Market. Any tangible asset that is sharia-compliant can be used in commodity murabaha transactions and palm oil is one obvious example. Malaysia is the world's No. 2 palm oil producer.

But some religious scholars have criticised the structure, saying it resembles conventional-based lending instruments. The Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions is of the view that the contract, while not invalid, is not ideal.

Malaysian banks remain well capitalised

Malaysia is well placed to weather the global financial crisis, well capitalised and with adequate liquidity, Bank Negara Malaysia governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz told the Oxford Business Group (OBG), a global publishing, research and consultancy firm. She said several years of reforms, institutional development and capacity building, continuous efforts to enhance corporate governance and risk management standards and practices had significantly strengthened Malaysia’s banking system.

OBG is to publish The Report: Malaysia 2009, the latest of its annual business guides, with a comprehensive review of the country’s economy.

Sharia scholar accepts fee for Guarantee

Liau Y-Sing reported via Reuters on 4 March that Mohd Daud Bakar, a renown Malaysian Sharia scholar, says banks may charge fees for guarantees but cannot sell the risk to a third party.

Etiqa Takaful Bhd crossed RM 1 bn in premiums

Etiqa Takaful Bhd recorded for the financial year ended June 30 last year a premium of RM 1.044 bn. It is the first takful company to cross this level and the largest in the world. Currently, the company has about a million policy holders.

Mohd Tarmidzi Ahmad Nordin is Chief Executive Officer.

Deloitte sets up KL Islamic Finance Centre of Excellence

DELOITTE is setting up an Islamic Finance Centre of Excellence in Kuala Lumpur. This is Deloitte’s only such centre in the region and one of three globally, alongside London and Dubai.

EONCAP Islamic Bank Bhd is eyeing 8 % growth in financing

EONCAP Islamic Bank Bhd is eyeing an 8 % growth in financing despite the economic slowdown. The bank has deposits and financing worth RM 4.3 bn and RM 4.8 bn respectively.

Malaysia: BNP Paribas Islamic targets USD 500 mn this year

Ellina Badri & Racheal Lee Mei Nyee reported on 16 February that BNP Paribas Islamic targets USD 500 mn assets this year.

Angelia Chin-Sharpe is BNP Paribas Investment Partners Malaysia and Brunei country head. Chin-Sharpe said that its current global assets under management and advisory for the Islamic business division stood at USD 500 mn. It intended to grow this to USD 2.5 bn in the next two years and is keen to work with takaful companies to provide them with investment solutions. Further BNP is planning an ETF.

Malaysia: Nomura Islamic Asset Management - strategy

Racheal Lee Mei Nyee reported on 16 February in The Edge Daily, that Nomura Islamic Asset Management Sdn Bhd plans to launch its first product by the second half of this year for the Malaysian market before venturing into the Gulf and other Asian regions, its managing director Toru Nakano said.

The company had set a rather conservative target of USD 1 bn (RM3.6 billion) worth of funds under management within five years. The conventional division currently manages more than USD 1 bn of funds, which are invested both locally and overseas. The Nomura Group had had a presence in the Middle East for 35 years, it was yet to be familiar with Islamic finance and asset management.

Malaysia: Aberdeen Islamic Asset Management - strategy

Racheal Lee Mei Nyee reported on 16 February in The Edge Daily, that Aberdeen Islamic Asset Management Sdn Bhd aims with the new licence to approach retail investors and launch funds, which it could not do under the conventional licence. The company is seeking seed funding from institutional investors first and look at retail funds only later.

Gerald Ambrose is managing director of Aberdeen Asset Management Sdn Bhd.

Bank Islam signs MoU with Bank Muamalat Indonesia for Estate Planning

Ellina Badri reported in The Edge Daily about the memorandum of understanding between Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd and Bank Muamalat Indonesia Bhd for the distribution of Islamic trust products.

Islamic trusts involve investments made following syariah principles and asset distribution according to Islamic rules of succession. The range of Islamic trust products include will-writing and estate administration services, and waqf, or a gift of property for religious or charitable purposes.

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