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Tuesday, 1 July 2008

HSBC plans to ratchet up Islamic banking

DOHA • HSBC is planning to shore up its Islamic banking operations as Shariah-compliant transactions are gaining in popularity in the region and elsewhere.
Bill Susinski, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC Qatar, said yesterday: "Customers have said they want a broader range of Islamic products. We have introduced Amanah (HSBC's Islamic banking division). In the corporate arena, we will be launching a whole range of products. We will offer the full suite of corporate and Treasury products, which should be launched by this October."
Susinski, along with Paul Edgar, HSBC Regional Manager, Transaction Banking, were speaking at the launch of HSBC's Guide to Cash Management, Treasury and Trade in the Middle East. The guide is being published by the bank for the first time and covers all subjects mentioned in the title along with country profiles of states in the region where HSBC has operations.
Edgar said HSBC was one of the few global banks which can develop products across a wide range of services. "We have appointed Mukhtar Hussain in Dubai to oversee our global Islamic banking operations. We are looking to roll out new Islamic banking services across the region, tailored to different countries as required." Speaking on the new publication, Susinski said: "This will act as a reference guide to our local and international customers. It not only provides country profiles but also case studies based on HSBC's experience." HSBC has had a presence in the Middle East for over 100 years.
"Countries in the Middle East differ in areas like attitudes to technology and liquidity requirements, for example," said Edgar.
"Several online clearing and electronic inter-bank transfer systems are live or being planned and various centres are vying for the enviable position as the regional financial hub. Qatar's effort to make its mark in the ongoing regional endeavour is no less apparent with an automated image-based cheque clearing system in place," said Edgar. Treasurers and Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) have had to manage their working capital efficiently to maximise growth while controlling risks, considering the economic growth the region is witnessing.
(The Peninsular)
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