Sunday, April 19, 2009

Maybank Islamic eyes RM4b financing business - THE STAR

MAYBANK Islamic Bhd expects to garner some RM4bil worth of financing deals from the corporate sector in the next six months, according to executive vice-president and acting chief executive officer Ibrahim Hassan. The financing is said to comprise Islamic revolving credit and term financing and will help boost the bank’s financing base which stood at RM22.4bil as at Dec 31, 2008, reports The Star.
Ibrahin told the newspaper: "Our position as the biggest Islamic banking operator in the country – in terms of capital available and biggest single customer financing limit – enables us to garner good business from the corporate sector as we can accommodate big chunky loans.
"There is a lot of interest from corporates to raise their financing requirement in a syariah-compliant manner. We expect strong demand in this area."
With this, he expects financing growth to increase by at least 12% for the financial year ending June 30 (FY09), up from the RM21.1bil registered in FY08.
“We have yet to see a slowdown in business for Maybank Islamic. For the first six months of the year ended Dec 31, 2008, our financing grew by an annualised rate of 14% versus the year to June 30, 2008.
“This was driven by the consumer segment – auto and mortgage financing as well as the Amanah Saham Bumiputra (ASB) unit trust financing which was launched in August,” he said.
Asset quality also improved with the bank’s net non-performing loans (NPLs) improving to 2.3% as at Dec 30, 2008 from 2.6% as at June 30, 2008.
Nevertheless, Ibrahim anticipates a slight deterioration in asset quality going forward.
“The more challenging credit conditions in the next 12 to 18 months may result in a rise in financial delinquencies and careful monitoring is essential to preserve asset quality,” he said.
Ibrahim said the bank’s financing growth in the second half of the fiscal year would mainly be from the corporate sector as consumer financing, such as auto and mortgage financing, was expected to experience a slowdown in growth, which would be mitigated somewhat by stronger financing growth in ASB unit trust financing, personal financing and credit cards.
Maybank Islamic launched its first Islamic credit card in September. As at end-March, the bank had issued some 35,000 cards. The target is to hit 100,000 cards by year-end.
“Financing growth will also come from new products such as Islamic personal financing in collaboration with co-operatives in FY10 and personal financing to our credit card customers both conventional and Islamic,” Ibrahim said.
According to him, product innovation is one of the key areas to grow the business in the challenging economic conditions.
Another growth area is Islamic wealth management.
“We have offered structured investment products locally and also in Singapore. We are targeting to offer some of these structured products in US dollars and sell to potential clients in Asean and the Middle East,” Ibrahim said.

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