Friday, December 01, 2006

GCC banks make inroads into Malaysia; Singapore playing catch-up in Islamic banking

Singapore jumps onto Islamic banking wagon

"Singapore playing catch-up in Islamic banking", The Edge Daily, December 1, 2006

Despite a late start, Singapore has been trying to attract the large amount of funds flowing into Islamic banking markets over the past five years. Most of the current development of the Singaporean Islamic banking industry has focused on Asia, but recently the focus has been widened to include the Middle East and, in particular, the Gulf Cooperation Council. Singapore only became a member of the Islamic Financial Standards Board (IFSB) and, unlike nearby Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, does not have a national Shari'ah regulatory body.

Dubai Islamic Bank picks Malaysia

"Dubai Islamic Bank to Turn M'sia A Hub For Asian Region", Bernama, December 1, 2006

The first surviving Islamic bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, which was established in 1975, has picked Malaysia to become the center of its expansion into Asia. This decision is not too surprising since Malaysia has the best developed Islamic capital markets & regulatory structure among Asian countries.

Kuwait Finance House expanding its Malaysian holdings

"Kuwait KFH eyes stake in Malaysian banks-report", Reuters via Yahoo! Asia News, December 1, 2006

Kuwait Finance House, the first foreign Islamic bank to begin operating in Malaysia has announced plans to expand its holdings in Malaysian banks including RHB Islamic Bank, according to Malaysian news agency Bernama

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