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Thursday, 16 July 2009

Maybank Singapore To Launch First Islamic Term Deposit For Retail Clients


SINGAPORE, July 16 (Bernama) -- Maybank Singapore will launch the first Islamic Term Deposit (Term Deposit-i) targeted at retail clients tomorrow, making it the first bank here to offer the Islamic banking product to that market segment.

As the first mover in the market, Term Deposit-i will pay profits upfront, the bank announced today, bucking the local trend of Islamic term deposits for high networth customers.

A similar product, Profit Now Account-i was launched by Maybank Islamic Bhd in Malaysia last May and it was well-received with more than RM1.3 billion total deposits to date.

In a statement here Thursday, the bank said Islamic banking products were sought after by local customers who were scouting for alternative investment avenues with the current change in investment landscape.

The bank is offering for a limited period, promotional rates of 0.6 percent, one percent and 1.4 percent for a tenure of three, six and 12 months respectively.

The minimum placement is S$10,000 (S$1=RM2.42) for a 12-month tenure or a minimum of S$25,000 for a three- and six-month tenure.

This deviates from the current available Islamic term deposit products in the market.

Some products require a minimum placement of US$500,000, catering only to the high networth segment.

The bank said Term Deposit-i was based on the commodity Murabaha principle, which was on a cost plus profit sale concept.

Under this concept, a specific syariah-compliant commodity will be identified and used as the underlying asset for the sale and purchase transaction between the customer and the bank.

Maybank Singapore currently offers other innovative Islamic banking products such as iSAVvy Savings account-i, a syariah-compliant online savings account.

The bank said since the introduction of the Islamic deposit products in 2005, it had seen an average year-on-year increase of over 40 percent in Islamic deposits.

This increase aligned with the global expected growth of over 40 percent to US$1 trillion by 2012, Maybank said.

Maybank Singapore Islamic banking head, Mohd Ismail Hussein, said the current market presented an opportune time to take on a back-to-basic approach.

"Consumers are on the lookout for an alternative to conventional products and this term deposit, being syariah-compliant may well match their needs," he said.

Mohd Ismail said Islamic banking was a fairly new concept in Singapore but was gaining momentum including from among the bank's non-Muslim Islamic banking customers.

"With Maybank being the market leader in Islamic banking in Malaysia, the operations in Singapore is in good stead to 'break the ice' between Islamic banking and the local retail market," he said.
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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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