Islamic Banking

Faisal Private Bank Chooses Malaysia to Launch Islamic Banking - Report

Tom Burroughes Deputy Editor London 13 June 2008

Faisal Private Bank Chooses Malaysia to Launch Islamic Banking - Report

Faisal Private Bank (Switzerland), which is looking to expand in South East Asia, has chosen Malaysia as its launch pad into the region’s Islamic private banking market, according to The Edge Financial Daily.

Its investment banking head, Giovanni Perin, said the bank, which is 79.6 per cent owned by Bahrain-based Ithmaar Bank, will open a representative office there soon.

“We have been given the nod by the Swiss Federal Banking Commission to open a representative office here and we have just filed the documents with Bank Negara Malaysia for its approval,” Mr Perin was quoted as saying.

He said the office, which is expected to open in one-and-a-half months’ time, will be mainly used to service its customers, who are mostly high net worth investors.

“Faisal has a local clientele network that is big enough for it to have a representative office here,” Mr Perin said, adding that the bank hoped to attract more high net worth investors in the country.

The bank might also acquire strategic stakes in local financial institutions as part of its efforts to grow its businesses.

Mr Perin said Faisal’s ideal partner would be one whose strength lies in setting up funds, and has a good network.

“Obviously, we have come a long way for more than just a simple plan,” Mr Perin said, adding that Faisal had genuine interests in using Malaysia as a platform to tap into other markets in the region, including Indonesia, Singapore and China.

Faisal is currently in talks with several corporations, local banking groups and developers to set up Shariah-compliant investment products here, or as a partner to set up funds in Europe, Mr Perin said.


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