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Wednesday, 15 August 2007

GCC targets Asean, including Malaysia for investment

KUALA LUMPUR: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries’ liquidity pool is targeting investments in Asean, particularly Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore as mature markets like Europe and North America have been slowing down. A group of Islamic financial services experts said GCC investors were looking at opportunities in real estate, infrastructure and private equity funds, as well as the capital markets. Speaking at a panel session themed “Emerging Islamic Markets — Southeast Asia and GCC” at the Malaysia Islamic Finance 2007 (MIF 2007) Investors and Issuers forum, they said there was growing interest among GCC countries in Asean. The panellists were Islamic Development Bank director for Malaysia regional office Ahmed Hariri, Nur Advisors LLC senior consultant Isaac Fokuo, Global Investment House head of research Faisal Hassan, Islamic Bank of Asia CEO Vince Cook and FWU Group managing director Sohail Jaffer. Hassan said GCC countries, which are flushed with petro-dollars, the Islamic products in Malaysia could be a good source of retail investment. “There are also Malaysian firms actively looking at investing and setting up businesses in the GCC countries. GCC investors are more likely interested in direct investments and taking up strategic stakes in companies.” Fokuo said growing African economies with their oil reserves would also be looking to invest here.

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