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Monday, 9 November 2009

Malaysia: Two Banks Shortlisted For Mega Islamic Bank Licences

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 (Bernama) -- Two foreign banks have been shortlisted by Bank Negara Malaysia in their applications for new Islamic banking licenses, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin said Monday.

"I was told a few had submitted," he told reporters after officiating the Islamic Financial Planning and Wealth Management Conference here.

He, however, declined to give further details.

As part of the financial sector liberalisation in April this year, the government announced that up to two new Islamic banking licences would be offered this year to foreign players to establish new Islamic banks with a paid-up capital of at least US$1 billion.

The aim is to enhance global interlinkages, leverage on global developments in Islamic finance and reinforce Malaysia's position as an international Islamic financial hub.

Asked whether there will be further liberalisation in the sector after the April announcement, Awang Adek said: "It is not the end of the liberalisation. It will come as we go along."

In his keynote address at the conference, Awang Adek said the high number of Malaysians' high net worth individuals could be a potential growth driver for the financial planning industry.

He noted that about 61 per cent of Malaysian population came under that group, with gross domestic product per capita income of over US$6,000 (US$1.00=RM3.386).

"The investing behaviour of high net worth individuals has become more global, driven by an increasing awareness of international developments and sophisticated investment products, better portfolio performance and risk mitigation techniques," he said.

He also said that the financial wealth of high net worth individuals had been projected to grow at an annual rate of 8.1 per cent by 2013 worldwide.

Within the Asia Pacific region, the wealthy held a combined US$9.5 trillion in financial assets, making up 23.3 per cent of the total global high net worth individuals' wealth.

"These investors are presented with greater opportunities to allocate capital across asset classes and diversify risks beyond geographic boundaries," Awang Adek said.

"Therefore, the demand for financial planning services will become even more significant as individuals seek professional expertise to assist them in framing asset accumulation strategies and selecting appropriate investments from the myriad of products from financial services providers," he said.

Awang Adek said with the Malaysian economy expected to continue its growth, the number of consumers in the middle-income group is likewise expected to increase.

"The emerging demographic structure is also favourable with the proportion of Malaysians above the age of 60 projected to grow to almost a quarter of the population by 2030," he said.

The wealth of individuals is also expected to rise at a rapid pace, particularly given Malaysia's aspirations to achieve developed nation status and become a high-income society by 2020, he added.

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1 comment:

Stephen said...

just wanna add that Malaysia is doing a great job in promoting Islamic finance, the adaptation process to some of its products will need a deeper look or "a second visit",

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