RETAIL BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Indonesia

Bank Islam to expand in Indonesia, Bangladesh

Bank Islam is eyeing opportunities for expansion in Indonesia and Bangladesh.


The two countries have been identified as "very interesting countries" that fit into the bank's expansion plan due to their sizeable Muslim populations and adequate Islamic banking regulatory policy and supporting infrastructure in place to facilitate Shariah-based financing and banking operations.

Managing Director Datuk Seri Zukri Samat said that as mergers and acquisitions are on Bank Islam's agenda for inorganic growth and corporate expansion, the bank is on the lookout for suitable candidates but has not initiated any discussions on mergers or acquisitions.

Zukri, however, said such plans would have to take into consideration the current global economic situation and its effect in this region.

"Some economists believe that there could be a double dip with Europe going into recession and growth in the Asian region decelerating.

Zukri said both countries have sound economies which offer opportunities for Islamic banking, and the presence of many Indonesian and Bangladesh migrant workers here also allows the bank to tap the lucrative remittance business.

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