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Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Islamic Banking Assets in Malaysia Worth RM147 Bln Last Year

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 (Bernama) -- Islamic banking assets in Malaysia at the end of last year stood at RM147 billion, accounting for 12.3 percent of the total banking assets in the country, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen.The size of the outstanding corporate sukuk market meanwhile, was at RM150 billion as at December last year, she said here after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of collaboration between Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM), Kuala Lumpur Chinese Assembly Hall (KLCAH) and the Authority of Shenyang of China."Out of the total Malaysian capital market bonds approved, 55 percent were Islamic bonds. This shows the way Islamic finance is moving forward (in Malaysia) since efforts to grow the segment were established in 1983."And today we are considered the world's top expert in Islamic finance, where Malaysia is providing consultancies to many other countries on Islamic finance," said Ng.There were eight full-fledged Islamic banks established in Malaysia as at the end of last year.The spread of Islamic finance was also notable from the listed companies in the local stock exchange, with 86 percent of the 853 companies being syariah-compliant, she added.In her keynote address, Ng however said in order to grow Islamic finance further, people should change the view that it is only for Muslims."Islamic finance is another financial instrument for global financial participation; be it banking, insurance, bonds, assets management and such," she added.Islamic finance is the fastest growing segment in finance globally with an average annual growth of 15-20 percent, and it is foreseen to grow continuously, said Ng.Thus the collaborative agreement signed today which will see IBFIM helping to introduce Islamic finance to Shenyang, the largest city in northeastern China with a population of 7.2 million, is aimed to benefit not only the Muslims there but the entire Chinese community, she added."Shenyang is the first `spot' in China to be so futuristic and visionary to take up Islamic finance as one of its future finance direction."With over US1 trillion (US$1=RM3.23) of global total Islamic finance assets to date, China itself has now come to participate in Islamic banking because they know that is where the future is and where many opportunities will be," she added.

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