Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Asian Finance Bank says no let-up in lending

By Isabele Francis
Asian Finance Bank Bhd (AFB) is not slowing down on its lending to companies here, aiming to double its loan size to about RM500 million by year-end from RM250 million currently.
AFB CEO Datuk Mohamed Azahari Kamil said it is building a 'good' loan portfolio for infrastructure and oil and gas development in the Middle East, especially in Abu Dhabi and Qatar.
He said the bank had already made a headstart with active talks initiated with four to five Malaysian publiclisted companies to fund their businesses in the Middle East
"My credit meetings are held every week (to appraise loans). Its important for us to be responsible lenders in this current market," he told reporters after the signing of a RM8.8 million financing facility with AWC Facility Solutions Bhd's 51% owned Nexaldes Sdn Bhd in Subang Jaya on Tuesday.
Azahari said the companies have appointed AFB as their financial advisor, and the parties are still finalising details on the size and structure of the financing. He said the companies are mostly from the oil and gas and infrastructure sectors that are planning to undertake projects in Abu Dhabi and Qatar. "The economy is still robust given the right sector.
AFB is looking at their counter parties that are credible," he added. Azahari said it is also important for these local companies to identify synergistic partners based in the Gulf countries.
"There is good potential growth and success if its done with local partners."
On a separate matter, he said AFB is also looking to scale down its proposed aviation fund to RM500 million from RM1 billion initially due to 'difficult valuations' and volatile yields against the backdrop of an uncertain economic condition.

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