Sunday, February 15, 2009

Singapore Islamic bank seeks Asia, Gulf growth

The Islamic Bank of Asia, backed by South-East Asia's top lender, is on the hunt for acquisition opportunities in Malaysia and Indonesia to gain a foothold in the populous Muslim retail markets, reports Reuters.
Islamic banks are turning to retail consumer demand for growth as the explosive rise of the Shariah bond market slows markedly amid the global credit crisis. Rising demand for ethical investments and growing interest by non-Muslims in Islamic finance have also turned the retail business into a potential major growth market.
Singapore-based Islamic Bank of Asia is considering various options to enter Malaysia and Indonesia, including taking a stake in banks in these countries, said the lender's chief executive Vince Cook, the report said.
"Singapore presents a very good platform for wholesale and crossborder business and both Indonesia and Malaysia would complement that by giving us the ability to build a very sizeable retail business," Cook told Reuters in a telephone interview. "In Malaysia, sometime during this year we will certainly have decided exactly how we want to proceed. We've surveyed the existing institutions...there hasn't been one as of yet that sort of become clearly the preferred target."

No comments: