Monday, October 12, 2009

SBI plans Islamic fund, expansion to KL

Japan's SBI Holdings Inc plans to launch an Islamic investment fund worth US$112 million (RM385 million) as early as next year and to set up an online brokerage firm in India, the financial services conglomerate's CEO said.
SBI, which generates about half of its revenues from asset management as well as from its brokerage and investment banking business, plans to shore up these core segments by accelerating investment in Asia's emerging countries, reports Reuters (Oct 6, 2009).
Speaking to reporters at the Reuters Wealth Management Summit in Tokyo, SBI CEO Yoshitaka Kitao said the company is keen to expand its presence in Islamic financial markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Middle East.
"The Islamic financial industry will likely keep growing, and we would like to play a part in that," the wire agency quoted Kitao.
SBI's Islamic fund, expected to be held equally with another partner, would initially be formed with about ¥10 billion (RM385 million), the report added.
"Islamic funds with their portfolios carefully chosen by Shariah experts are highly appreciated by pious Muslim investors. By forming such a fund, we would like to attract money in and around the Middle East," Kitao said. "We would like to invite other investors once the fund is up and running," he added.
SBI, which is also planning to set up a fund in South Korea and is interested in buying companies there, had a total of ¥500 billion in assets under its asset management business as of June.