Tuesday, March 31, 2009

KFH MD believed to be stepping down: The Star

PETALING JAYA: Kuwait Finance House (KFH) Malaysia managing director and CEO Datuk Salman Younis is believed to be stepping down soon, apparently following a board meeting of the bank last week.
Sources said Salman, who was seconded from the bank’s headquarters in Kuwait to set up the Malaysian operations, will likely be assigned back to Kuwait.
Meanwhile, KFH Malaysia deputy CEO Ab Jabar Ab Rahman will be acting CEO as the hunt is on, possibly among local bankers, for a suitable head.
Contrary to market talk, the sources said KFH Malaysia was not downsizing.
But due to the difficult operating environment, it will be slowing down on expansion of new business in Malaysia, Salman had indicated in an interview early last month.
A pioneer among foreign Islamic banks in the country, KFH Malaysia had been slated to jointly develop property projects in Kuala Lumpur and Iskandar Malaysia.
Two weeks ago, Salman was quoted in a news report saying that real estate only formed less than 15% of its total investment portfolio. He had expressed his intention to diversify the bank’s investments into the healthcare and food industries.
In its December ratings outlook, RAM Ratings had maintained a stable outlook (AA2/P1) on the bank for which gross non-performing financing ratio stood at only 0.64% at the end of the third quarter of last year.
The bank recorded pre-tax profit of RM37.9mil for the same period compared with RM30.46mil in the previous corresponding period. For the 14 months of financial year 2005, KFH Malaysia had registered a pre-tax profit of just RM1.84mil.
Shareholders’ funds stood at RM1.09bil for the third quarter compared with RM747.16mil previously. (THE STAR, Wednesday April 1, 2009)

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