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Friday, 15 February 2008

Bank Muamalat Indonesia gets "AA" rating from IIRA

London (ANTARA News) - The Bahrain-based Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA) has given a sharia quality "AA" rating to Indonesia`s sharia-based Bank Muamalat.IIRA Chief Executive Officer Jamal Abbas Zaidin handed the rating certificate to Bank Muamalat President Director A Riawan Amin at the ongoing International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) meeting here on Monday.The event was also witnessed by Indonesia`s Special Envoy for the Middle East, Dr Alwi Shihab, and Bank Indonesia (central bank) Deputy Governor Siti Chalimah Fadjrijah, IIFM Chairman Khalid Hamad and IIFM CEO Ijlal Alvi as well as representatives of Islamic financial institutions.Jamal said the rating was a reflection of IIRA`s assessment of Bank Muamalat which had implemented standard sharia-based regulations at the highest level in all aspects of assessment analyzed by IIRA.Riawan, meanwhile, said the rating also reflected the high quality of the practices carried out by the bank and the bank`s organizational structure which had made it possible for the bank to implement effectively Islamic principles to a high degree of accuracy.He said the rating would also encourage the bank to achieve its mission to serve as a role model for sharia-based financial institutions in the world.Riawan also said he would invite other sharia-based banks in Indonesia to have a meeting with IIRA so they could also get a rating.Siti, meanwhile said the rating would also show that the bank was acknowledged as a bank which upheld standards in all of its aspects. "I encourage the bank to work harder to get an `AAA` rating so that the rest of the sharia-based banking industry in Indonesia is encouraged to also seek a rating," she said.She said rating of conventonal banks was already done often but not for sharia-based banks, and this would show that Bank Muamalat was already adhering to internationally recognized standards.Siti said sharia-based banks were not only developing in predominantly Muslim countries but also in other countries, including Britain, and this also applied to sharia-based bonds (sukuk).Alwi Shihab, meanwhile, said the rating given to Bank Muamalat was an international acknowledgment toward Indonesia."This should be a model for other banks and may encourage other sharia-based banks at home," he said.There are currently 23 sharia-based banks in Indonesia.According to an unaudited financial report of the bank , the bank`s assets increased to Rp10.6 trillion in December 2007, while its Financing Deposit Ratio (FDR) had reached 98.7 percent.

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