News From : DagangHalal.com (16 Jun 2010)
KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 (Bernama) — Standard Chartered Saadiq Bhd (Saadiq), the Islamic banking arm of Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Bhd (Stanchart), hopes to increase its contribution to the group’s total assets to 14 per cent this year from 11 per cent last year.
Its chief executive officer, Azrulnizam Abd Aziz, said Saadiq’s plan to open more branches and launch innovative products would help achieve the target.
Saadiq’s total banking assets as at Dec 31, 2009 stood at RM4.8 billion.
“Our Islamic bank financing assets grew by 40 per cent last year and we aim to sustain this growth momentum,” he told reporters after the launch of the bank’s second branch in Ampang, Selangor Wednesday.
Its first branch was set up in Taman Tun Dr Ismail in November 2008 with an investment of RM50 million.
It offers over 40 syariah-compliant products and services ranging from property and personal financing to corporate financing.
Azrulnizam said the bank was committed to enlarging its stake in the Islamic finance sector and support the government’s aspiration to make Malaysia an international Islamic finance hub.
“We are sharpening our customer value propositions, advancing our distribution channels and improving our ability to produce innovative financial solutions,” he said.
He said Saadiq aimed to open six more branches this year and another two in the first quarter of 2011.
“The bank will also introduce three new products this year to cater to the small and medium enterprises, corporate finance as well as retail banking,” he said.
Azrulnizam said the bank planned to triple its staff to 180 in the next 12 to 18 months.
Stanchart’s managing director/chief executive officer, Osman Morad, said Islamic banking business has vast potential as many economic and business activities as well as individuals preferred syariah-compliant banking.
“Islamic banking is of strategic importance to Stanchart as the industry grows in scale,” he said.
Malaysia has a large Islamic finance and banking industry, where nearly 20 per cent of the banking assets are Islamic-based.