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Sunday, 27 January 2008

Standard Chartered To Boost Islamic Banking Presence In Malaysia

DAVOS, Jan 25 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Standard Chartered plc, one of the world's largest banks, is to expand its presence in Malaysia, especially in Islamic banking.The Prime Minister said Standard Chartered Group chairman Mervyn Davies gave him the assurance when the banking chief called on him here last night.Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Bhd was the first foreign bank in the country to offer Islamic banking products in July 1992.It has 37 branches in Malaysia and was the first bank to be established in the country, in 1875.Abdullah told a press conference last night that Davies had described Malaysia as pioneering Islamic banking and possessing much potential for growth in this sector.Davies also felt, according to him, that Malaysia should expand its skilled human resource in Islamic banking to grow the industry and contribute towards national development.The bank chief praised the Malaysian government for its management of the national economy and saw bright prospects for the country, Abdullah said.The Prime Minister said similar opinions were expressed by Laurent Beaudoin, chairman and chief executive of Bombardier Inc, an international transportation systems company based in Canada, at their meeting last night.Abdullah also met Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and said later that they had agreed that the bilateral joint commission be revived without delay.This will facilitate cooperation in several fields including trade, investment, air services, space travel and education.Abdullah pointed out that Ukraine was the base from which Malaysia's first astronaut, Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, flew to the international space station last year.Yushchenko also asked Malaysia to study the possibility of resuming sending its students to Ukraine, and Abdullah said this will be considered by the Education and Higher Education Ministries.The Ukrainian leader also urged Petronas to step up its cooperation with its Ukrainian counterpart.

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