Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Maybank Islamic is supporting the World Islamic Economic Foundation (WIEF) and the Greater London Authority in search of enhancing trade and investment among Malaysia, the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the UK.
CEO Maybank Islamic, Muzaffar Hisham, said that the idea is based on the consensus of using Islamic finance as the platform for the transactions that will involve Malaysian investors and businesses in their efforts to diversify their portfolios into the UK, particularly in London.
He said, “There is an increasing interest by Malaysian investors in diversifying their investment portfolios into the UK and particularly London. Maybank Islamic is well placed to encourage such opportunities.”
He emphasized on the strategic importance of Islamic Finance for London as an opportunity to tap into a new source of capital, assets and liquidity in Islamic markets for London’s future growth and global ambitions.
Muzaffar has not only encouraged sovereigns but also UK corporate firms that are wishing to issue funds to consider Shariah-compliant instruments as they expand to new frontiers, especially in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and ASEAN/Malaysia.
Maybank Islamic has recently secured pound sterling cross border financing, making it the first Malaysian bank to have such financing instruments in London.
Deputy Mayor of London, Sir Edward Lister, said, “Developing trade and investment links with Malaysia is a key priority for London and Maybank’s initiative significantly broadens the range of Shariah-compliant investment opportunities. Hosting the world.”
“The WIEF will showcase London’s role as the leading Western hub for Islamic Finance and lay the foundation for strengthening our bond with the Islamic world,” he added.
London has taken proactive measures to grow Islamic Finance in an attempt to attract more investment from the Middle East and other Muslim countries in the ASEAN region, believing these are essential to further boost London’s standing as an important centre for the industry.
There is a growing appetite for Shariah-compliant investments in London as it grows in Malaysia and Asean, the Maybank Islamic feels that it is well placed to bridge prospective clients in facilitating their aspirations.
In addition, Maybank Islamic is also actively expanding its foreign currency business in the retail banking space.
The bank is in the final stage of launching an Islamic foreign currency property financing product for London properties due to be launched in fourth quarter of 2013.