KUALA LUMPUR: Maybank Islamic Bhd will use next month’s World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) in London — the first to be held outside of an Islamic country — to tell the “real story”
of Islamic banking.
The syariah-compliant lender, which is one of the three strategic partners of the 9th WIEF, will also use the forum to showcase its Asean success story, which has seen it emerge as the
region’s top Islamic bank.
Its chief executive officer Muzaffar Hisham said Maybank Islamic will be on a “charm offensive” at the three-day forum from October 29-31 at ExCel London.
“There is still a lot of misconception about Islamic banking in the West. Some think it is only for Muslims and not as an alternative to conventional banking.”
As a move to convince the West, Maybank Islamic will reveal its success story in Singapore — a non-Muslim country that has
embraced Islamic banking.
“Since 2010, our Islamic deposits have risen to S$1 billion (RM2.53 billion), mostly from non-Muslim customers.
“It’s not only about sukuk (Islamic bond) issuance, but other products too, such as financing for property purchases.
“Many of our non-Muslim customers in Singapore were surprised at how humanised Islamic financing products are,” Muzaffar told
Business Times in an interview recently.
Apart from Singapore, Maybank Islamic will offer opportunities for access into the other Asean markets and China.
“We want to be partners and financiers for the European as well as Middle Eastern investors to venture into the growing Asean market.
“Maybank Islamic could also complement the financing needs in London by providing an alternative,” said Muzaffar.
The upcoming WIEF, which is supported by the British government and London’s mayor, is expected to see Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak addressing the forum.
London was chosen as a venue as it is one of the world’s leading financial and cultural centres and a business gateway between the
Muslim and non-Muslim worlds.
Some RM28 billion worth of deals were finalised during the 8th WIEF in Iskandar Johor last year.