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Saturday, 23 August 2008

Malaysia poised to be global Islamic capital market centre

KUALA LUMPUR (The Star): Malaysia can become the centre for the global Islamic capital market due to its favourable regulatory environment, says Prudential Corp Asia funds management chief executive Arne Lindman.

“The support from the Securities Commission (SC), for example, has helped Malaysia become the leader in Islamic bond issues or sukuk. The country issues more than 69% of the world’s sukuk estimated to be worth about US$62bil.” he said yesterday after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Prudential Fund Management Bhd (PFMB) and Dubai-based Prudential Asset Management Ltd (PAMD).

Also present at the ceremony was SC chairman Datuk Zarinah Anwar.

Under the MoU, both corporations will work closely to distribute Prudential-managed syariah funds in Malaysia and the Middle East.

Lindman said the MoU would help Malaysia and Dubai cooperate, instead of compete, with each other, and this would spur business development.

PFMB chief executive officer Mark Toh said this was the first time that two Asian countries were promoting the cross-marketing and distribution of Islamic funds. Recently the SC and the Dubai Financial Services Authority signed an agreement to allow such activities.

“Instead of setting up a company in Dubai, we will be able to sell funds directly to the country. It will also allow each country to promote and sell funds between jurisdictions without hassle,” he said.

PAMD chief executive officer Suraj Mishra said this would create synergy between the two countries.

“Instead of getting additional fund managers to sell the funds, the two countries can rely on each other as both have expertise in this sector,” he said.

In Asia, Prudential’s asset management business is one of the region’s largest, operating in 10 markets with funds under management of US$68bil as at end of June 2008.

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