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Thursday, 31 January 2008

Maybank unit to grow Islamic trade finance

KUALA LUMPUR (31 Jan 08): Maybank Islamic Bhd, the full-fledged Islamic banking unit of Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), is targeting its Islamic trade finance business to grow by 10% to 15% in the current financial year ending June 30.
Acting chief executive officer Ibrahim Hassan attributed this to the rapid growth of Islamic finance, coupled with the bank's new foreign Islamic currency products and others in the pipeline like syariah-based treasury and wealth management products.
Maybank Islamic yesterday launched two foreign currency products – Malaysia's first Islamic On-shore Foreign Currency Financing (OFCF-i) and Islamic Foreign Currency Account (FCA-i).
“We have been experiencing good growth in Islamic financing, mainly in the area of auto finance and business banking.
“With the introduction of these new products, the bank is confident of achieving the targeted growth,” he said after the launching of OFCF-i and FCA-i.
According to Ibrahim, Maybank Islamic is currently the market leader in Islamic trade finance with a 50% share as at last December.
For the same period, Islamic trade finance accounted for 30% of Maybank's total trade finance business.
The value of total Islamic banking assets for the period stood at about RM26bil, of which RM19bil was Islamic financing assets.
Ibrahim said the new products were designed to meet the needs of individuals and businesses for international trade financing and foreign currency, for investment, education and employment abroad.
OFCF-i is a short-term trade financing facility to finance import and export in foreign currencies. OFCF-i adopts the principle of Murabahah for imports and Bai-at-Dayn for exports.
The minimum financing for this product is US$30,000 or its ringgit equivalent in foreign currency.
The currencies eligible for OFCF-i include US dollar, euro, yen, Swiss franc, British pound and Singapore dollar.
Meanwhile, FCA-i offers four major currencies – US dollar, euro, pound and Australian dollar.
The account is based on the Mudharabah principle and caters to individual and business customers. FCA-i accounts can be opened for export proceeds, receivables, education and employment needs.
For individual accounts, the minimum deposit is US$1,000 or its equivalent. FCA-i offers flexibility, safety and convenience for receiving and transferring overseas funds.
Individuals can pay for their overseas education or if they are employed overseas, their salaries can be paid into their FCA-i accounts.
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