Monday, August 9, 2010

Bank of London and the Middle East ‘doing very well’

BANK of London and the Middle East (BLME) expects its performance for the current financial year ending Dec 31, 2010, will be better than the previous year's.

"Our performance will be much better than last year's. We will be profitable for the whole year," said its chief executive officer Humphrey Percy (picture).

Percy said BLME is performing well and its business has been developing with more products being introduced into the market. Like other financial institutions, he noted BLME was affected by the global economic slowdown. Nevertheless, he said, the bank has been staging a good performance.

"Everybody is affected by the crisis. Because we are part of the financial market, we were affected by the crisis, but we are actually doing very well, our business is also developing," he said at the 7th annual Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum in Kuala Lumpur, last week.

BLME, the largest Islamic bank in United Kingdom, has five core business offerings — treasury, corporate banking, private banking, asset management and corporate advisory services. Percy said BLME has been developing more real asset funds and had recently launched its electronic foreign exchange platform and internet deposit account.

He said BLME will continue to develop other instruments which are utilised by banks, and corporate banking activities. Percy also said the United Kingdom government is still talking about the launch of a sukuk. "S&P forecast US$20 billion (RM62.9 billion) worth of sukuk issuance this year and expects to see US$130 million of corporate issuance in UK and Europe," he added.

He also said the International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) has estimated that Shariah compliant assets will reach US$1 trillion in 2010. IIFM is the global standardisation body for the Islamic Capital & Money Market (ICMM) segment of the Islamic Financial Services Industry. It is a nonprofit international development institution supported by the central banks and government agencies of Bahrain, Brunei, Dubai, Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Pakistan as well as a number of regional and international financial institutions. The objective of IIFM is to take part in the establishment, development and promotion of the ICMM.

Commenting on investor sentiment, Percy sees cautious investment in low risk activities with low-medium yields. "There is a move from wealth preservation as an investor driver in 2008-2009 to wealth generation in 2010-2011," he added.

(This story, written by Dalila Abu Bakar, appeared in The Malaysian Reserve on August 9, 2010. The Malaysian Reserve is a daily business/finance newspaper published out of Kuala Lumpur, with a sectoral page on Islamic finance on Mondays, edited by Habhajan Singh)

1 comment:

Ho said...

Well lets hope they can get us out of this recession