The Rakyat Post

HSBC Amanah ex-CEO to head CIMB Islamic

The former chief executive officer at HSBC Amanah Malaysia Bhd, Mohamed Rafe Mohamed Haneef, will soon head CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd. In a statement today, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd said Rafe will assume his new post on Jan 4 next year as CEO and executive director of CIMB Islamic Bank and CEO of Group Islamic Banking Division. CIMB group CEO Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz Tengku Abdul Aziz said that Rafe brings with him experience in business and functional positions in three global banks, an international asset management company and a legal firm. Rafe holds a bachelor’s degree in law from the International Islamic University Malaysia and a master’s degree in International Finance and Securities Law from the Harvard Law School.

Zero fees for instant inter-bank transfers from tomorrow

Malaysian Electronic Payment System Sdn Bhd (MEPS) and its member banks will waive the fee for its real-time Instant Transfer, previously known as Inter-bank Funds Transfer (IBFT) service, from tomorrow – Oct 1 – to Dec 31. In a statement yesterday, MEPS said the zero fee was applicable for transactions on the Internet and mobile banking channels of the participating banks. However, the instant transfer fee at automated teller machines (ATMs) remained at 50 sen, it said. The initiative shows the banks’ and MEPS’ support for Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) e-Payment adoption. By 2020, BNM is targeting to increase the number of e-payment transactions per capita from 72 to 200.

World’s first Islamic Asean ETF launched

The world’s first Islamic Asean Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) is enroute for listing on Bursa Malaysia on May 7. Investment management provider, i-VCAP Management Sdn Bhd (i-VCAP), today launched the prospectus for the Shariah-compliant ETF, which will be known as MyETF MSCI SEA Islamic Dividend (MyETF-MSEAD). Chief executive officer Mahdzir Othman explained that MyETF-MSEAD was an open-ended fund with an approved fund size of 500 million units. Investors can subscribe to the fund until April 22, at RM1 per unit with a minimum subscription size of 100 units.

ADB to push sukuk funding

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is stepping up efforts to assist member countries to use Islamic finance in areas such as infrastructure financing, ranging from technical assistance to providing credit guarantees. The Manila-based development lender sees Islamic finance as complementing its objectives to boost financial inclusion and promote financial stability. ADB had considered making a sukuk issuance of its own, but the focus is now on supporting member states’ use of sukuk for their public debt financing. AAA-rated ADB is also considering partial guarantees to boost the credit rating of sukuk from sovereign issuers.

Plan B for mega-Islamic bank

Weak economic conditions scuppered plans for a tie-up of Malaysia’s CIMB Group Holdings Bhd with RHB Capital Bhd and Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB). It would have created Southeast Asia’s fourth-largest bank with assets of US$190 billion (RM692.63 billion). MBSB, a non-bank lender and the smallest of the three firms, is now studying a plan to convert itself into a full-fledged Islamic lender. It said last week it would convert existing conventional financial products into Islamic ones while introducing new ones to close the gap with competitors. Meanwhile, both CIMB and RHB Capital have established, domestically focused, Islamic units.

Game theory model for Islamic finance?

Researchers are seeking to apply the principles of game theory to Islamic finance, one of several efforts to shed new light on economic behaviour in an industry driven by religious principles. A competition launched this month by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), in partnership with universities in Morocco and Saudi Arabia, invites entrants worldwide to submit computer models of some aspect of Islamic economics or finance. Models are to employ agent-based simulation (ABS), which uses individual rules for the behaviour of each participant and shows how their interaction can have results that no participant intended.

Nothing dubious about Bank Islam loan, out-of-court settlement

Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim today said there was nothing dubious about the out-of-court settlement with regard to the loan of more than RM60 million he took from Bank Islam. He said he had taken court action against the irresponsible people who had slandered him. Khalid made the statement when speaking at the monthly gathering of Selangor government departments. The Port Klang state representative reminded those who were not satisfied with him to lodge reports with Bank Negara for an audit to be carried out and not to act as they pleased. He said he had decided to remain silent as he had to protect the bank’s secrecy practice.

MAA boss mad at being stuck due to Bursa rules

MAA Group Bhd is caught between Bursa Malaysia’s PN17 rules (practice note) – which requires it to buy another business to lift the status – and the Islamic Services Act 2013, which only allows it to buy a financial services company. MAA has been granted an extension of time of up to July 31, 2014 to submit a regularisation plan to the regulator. The firm is now looking at the takaful market of the Philippines to strengthen its insurance business, and possibly pave the way towards exiting its PN17 status. Chief executive officer Muhamad Umar Swift said that MAA seeks a lifting of the PN17 status by virtue of having a takaful business instead of acquiring another business. He said the group has allocated RM177 million for capitalisation and expansion plans for this year, particularly in the takaful business.

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