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Thursday, 20 September 2007

Malaysia's Affin Islamic keen to expand Islamic banking operations

KUALA LUMPUR (Thomson Financial) - Affin Islamic Bank Bhd is looking for an acquisition in line with its objective of expanding its Islamic banking operations in the country, the official Bernama news agency reported, citing chief executive officer Kamarul Ariffin Mohd Jamil. Affin Islamic Bank is a subsidiary of banking group Affin Holdings Bhd. 'Since Bank Negara Malaysia has liberalised the foreign equity ruling in existing Islamic banks, we are always open to any suitable and interesting proposition towards the acquisition or collaboration,' he said. 'But, at the moment, we have not talked with any parties,' Kamarul Ariffin said. Separately, Malaysia's sole private free-to-air television group Media Prima Bhd has signed a 70 million ringgit term refinancing facility with Affin Islamic Bank today for its capital management initiative to generate lower cost of funds and savings over the medium term. 'The total debt and capital exercise that we took will give us a cost saving of about 5-6 million ringgit per annum,' Media Prima's managing director and chief executive officer Abdul Rahman Ahmad said. The company currently has a total debt facility of up to 450 million ringgit. (1 US dollar = 3.45 ringgit) - (19 Sep 07)

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