Thursday, November 19, 2009

CIMB Islamic to invest RM1.5b in halal sector

CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd is prepared to invest RM1.5 billion in a move to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the halal industry.
CIMB Islamic's chief executive officer Badlisyah Abdul Ghani said this was due to the proven success of the segment which started in late 2006 with a zero base.
"From zero base, we are now generating close to RM2 million. This is because of our aggressiveness in helping SMEs," he said. He was speaking to the reporters after launching the CIMB Islamic and Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) Financial Advisory Services Programme in Kuala Lumpur.
Also present was HDC's chief executive officer Datuk Seri Jamil Bidin. Asked about the sales target from the collaboration, Badlisyah said the partnership was an ongoing process and for the moment, no specific target had been set.
"But our indirect intention as a bank is to secure SMEs in the halal industry which are not our clients and supporting all the SMEs in the industry at large," he said.
Jamil said most Malaysians have the wrong impression that Malaysia is the number one player in the halal industry globally. Malaysia, he said, is only the leader in the certification and standard process.
"This does not contribute much to the nation's economy as the government wants the SMEs to be one of its key economy drivers, like their counterparts in neighbouring countries," he added. Jamil said the halal food global market is estimated worth US$635 billion (RM2.14 trillion) this year and this is expected to increase to US$642 billion next year. — Bernama