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Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Bank Islam Malaysia To Focus On New Areas To Push Fee-based Income

SHAH ALAM, Aug 21 (Bernama) -- Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd, currently in the process of transformation under under its turnaround plans, wants to concentrate on the new core areas of corporate investment banking and treasury to grow its fee-based income from five percent currently."These are the areas that we want to push forward in making Bank Islam a global leader. We want to grow our fee-based income which is still small now," said Bank Islam's managing director Datuk Zukri Samat.To achieve this, the bank planned to issue one or two sukuk (Islamic bonds) by year-end and introduce new treasury products to the market soon, he said.He was speaking to reporters after the unveiling of the bank's remodelled branch here today.Bank Islam's turnaround plans include recapitalisation and balance sheet restructuring, an information technology (IT) revamp, organisational restructuring, cost rationalisation and human capital development.As part of the plan, the bank had identified several non-critical services to be outsourced to third parties, Zukri said."One area that we have identified is outsourcing the bank's non-critical services such as ATMs (automated teller machines) which can save millions every year," he said."Apart from that, we are also looking at other areas that make sense for us to outsource to third parties," he added.According to him, such exercises will provide savings for the bank moving forward.Zukri said the bank would allocate up to RM100 million to upgrade and overhaul of its 15-year-old IT system to serve its over one million customers more efficiently."Today, there are so many competitors, so we need to be as efficient as our competitors in order to remain competitive," he said.Bank Islam currently has 90 branches, 264 ATMs and more than 70 Syariah-compliant banking products and services.

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