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Sunday, 16 March 2008

KFH seeking licences in Australia, Singapore

KUALA LUMPUR: Kuwait Finance House (M) Bhd (KFH) is applying for a licence to manage Islamic financial services in Australia as well as fund management activities in Singapore as it seeks to expand market share.

Country head of commercial, retail and consumer banking Ab Jabar Ab Rahman said KFH hoped to tap into the rising affluence and cash in on the lack of players providing Islamic financial planning services.

Yesterday, KFH signed an agreement with Firium Solutions (M) Sdn Bhd and Amanie Business Solutions Sdn Bhd to offer its first Islamic wealth management solution in Malaysia. Under the agreement, Amanie would provide financial planning consultation while Firium would provide the wealth management solutions.

“We have a great market in Malaysia, given the ageing population and growing affluence of the community,” Jabar said after the launch yesterday. Last month, the bank implemented the first phase of its Islamic wealth management solutions comprising unit trusts and Bancatakaful modules.

Jabar said the second phase of structured products and Wasiat will-writing, including the third phase of Islamic financial planning solutions would be incorporated at a later stage although no time frame had been set. He said the proposed minimum amount for an individual to be included in private banking was RM5mil in liquid assets. “We would consider introducing Islamic wealth management solutions to the Middle East if they prove successful in Malaysia,” he said.

Locally, KFH intends to set up a corporate banking branch in Johor Baru next month, and is finalising plans for a branch in Penang.

Meanwhile, Firium chief executive officer Edward Yee said the company had approached other banks and financial institutions with regard to the Islamic wealth management product. “With growing affluence, financial institutions are focusing more on serving the wealth management needs of the mass affluent customer segment,” he said. Firium had identified the Middle East, Indonesia and China as its next targets for the product, he added.
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Alfalah Consulting-Kuala Lumpur: www.alfalahconsulting.com 
Islamic Consultant & Trainer: www.ahmad-sanusi-husain.com 
Islamic Investment Malaysia: www.islamic-invest-malaysia.com

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