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Sunday, 18 May 2008

Alliance Bank upbeat on Islamic banking assets growth

(The Star, 16 May 2008)

KUALA LUMPUR: Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd is targeting to grow its Islamic banking assets to 15% of its total banking assets for its financial year ending March 2009 from 13% currently.
With the bank generally enjoying strong growth, this goal could be easily achieved, particularly in view of the increasing demand for Islamic banking products and services, said group chief executive officer Datuk Bridget Lai.
She said the setting up of a full-fledged Islamic banking desk within the branch would complement the branch's existing range of conventional banking product and service offerings.
The newly incorporated Alliance Islamic Bank has its portfolio, Malaysia’s first Islamic deposit-linked home financing facility, the Alliance i-WISH Home Flexi; and the Alliance CashVantage Personal Financing-i, a two-tiered personal financing that offers 35% lower repayment for the first year.
Lai said Alliance Bank would continue to focus on the local market, as there was still an opportunity to increase market share in the next two to three years.
“I believe the local banking sector is challenging but lucrative. There is a very sharp shift in terms of consumer business and personal wealth.
“Malaysia is one of the fastest growing markets in the region in terms of personal wealth, because of its young population and high literacy rate. The industry has not gone all out to provide the market with a better range of products and services. Therefore, there is a window of opportunity for the bank,” she said.
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