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Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Room For More Than One Islamic Banking Hub, KFH (M) Bhd Says

KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 (Bernama) -- There is room for more than one international Islamic banking hub as the Islamic banking and finance sector grows across the world, a foreign Islamic banking official here said Tuesday.Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) Bhd (KFHM) managing director K. Salman Younis said even though Dubai has reportedly overtaken Malaysia as an Islamic banking hub, Malaysia still has its own appeal that can enable it to become a hub for this region."Dubai has its own charm because of its location in the Middle East, but Malaysia has its own strategic importance as it is close to China, India, Singapore, Korea, Australia and New Zealand," he told reporters after the launch of the KFHM Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Hijrah-i programme."Every country basically has its own appeal, even if you look at conventional banking, no country can say it is the only international financial centre."Likewise, as Islamic banking grows, it will require more than one centre of excellence. Dubai of course has its own appeal for people in that part of the world, and vice versa with Malaysia," he added.He said KFH had seen the importance of Malaysia in this region and that is why it chose to open an office here in February last year.KFH is a market leader in the Islamic banking industry in Kuwait and provides Islamic banking services, including consumer banking, real estate financing, lease financing, trade finance, direct investments and portfolio investments."We are one of the Middle East's Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) institutions. Since we already have a bank in the UAE, we could have said Dubai is the financial centre and that there is no need to move (here)."But no, we have to, as we decided many years back. It makes sense as (neighbouring) Indonesia has such a huge population and Malaysia has a skilled labour force and there are so many opportunities, plus easier access to countries like China and Indonesia," he said.The KFHM MM2H Hijrah-i programme is designed to be a bridge to enable people in the GCC countries to chose Malaysia as their second home and at the same time invest in properties here.It provides them with full access to banking and other financial facilities required for their stay in Malaysia.In addition, external products and services which include accommodation, education, medical services as well as transport services are packaged in the programme.

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