Finance

A Sabah impetus for Islamic banking

Osman Morad, Stanchart chief executive officer, watches chief minister Musa Aman sign a plaque to launch his Saadiq bank in Kota Kinabalu. In the background is Looi Kok Soon, the bank's general manager for regional distribution in Malaysia and South-East Asia. - <i>CMD picture</i>

Starting them young, Stanchart Saadiq banks on Sabah

It is, of course, to be expected of Standard Chartered to open an Islamic bank in Sabah. It is after all, the first foreign bank to offer Islamic banking services in Malaysia in 1992. But coming on the heels of Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi, the world’s biggest Islamic bank which opened its first branch in Kota Kinabalu last December, Stanchart Saadiq’s first branch at 1Borneo Hypermall in Kota Kinabalu underscores the scope of Islamic finance in the resource-rich Borneo island state.

Saadiq has eight branches alongside Stanchart’s other banks since it started in 2008. But it has a market share of the Islamic banking business of about 5%, according to Osman Morad, Stanchart’s chief executive officer and managing director. Sabah thus would help its growth.

Chief minister Musa Aman was happy as he opened the branch on February 24. He said Sabah is set to help Malaysia become an international Islamic financial centre.

Saadiq will be the first bank in Sabah to open its doors seven days a week except on public holidays. It has a programme to teach children all about Islamic finance. Known as the Minda Wang Saadiq, the first week-long learning started with a workshop for pupils at the Mutiara primary school in Kota Kinabalu and orphans of the Yayasan Kebajikan Suria in Tuaran.

Banking officials say Islamic finance has become popular in Sabah with customers attracted to higher yields and lower borrowing costs. – Insight Sabah

Posted on February 25, 2012

Malay 中文 Kadazan
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