PETALING JAYA: With the backing of Maybank Islamic Bhd, the World Islamic Economic Foundation (WIEF) is working together with the Greater London Authority to boost trade and investment between Malaysia, the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean) and the UK.
The idea is based on the consensus of using Islamic finance as the
platform for the transactions that will involve Malaysian investors and
businesses in their efforts to diversify their portfolios into the UK,
particularly in London, Maybank Islamic chief executive officer Muzaffar
Hisham said last week in Kuala Lumpur.
“There is an increasing interest by Malaysian investors in
diversifying their investment portfolios into the UK and particularly
London. Maybank Islamic is well placed to encourage such opportunities”,
Muzaffar emphasised on the strategic importance of Islamic Finance
for London as an opportunity to tap into a new source of capital, assets
and liquidity in Islamic markets for London’s future growth and global
Muzaffar has not only encouraged sovereigns but also UK corporate
firms that are wishing to issue funds to consider Shariah-compliant
instruments as they expand to new frontiers, especially in the Gulf
Cooperation Council (GCC) and Asean/Malaysia.
“The deal will most probably be announced during the 9th WIEF in
London in October,” Muzaffar told reporters after the soft launch of its
new retail mortgage product at the WIEF headquarter in Kuala Lumpur.
Maybank Islamic has recently secured pound sterling cross border
financing, making it the first Malaysian bank to have such financing
instruments in London, Bernama reported.
Also present during the event were deputy mayor of London Sir Edward
Lister and WIEF managing director Syed Abu Bakar Almohdzar, who both
reiterated the importance of boosting trade, investments and business
between Malaysia, Asean and London through Islamic Finance.
“Developing trade and investment links with Malaysia is a key
priority for London and Maybank’s initiative significantly broadens the
range of Shariah-compliant investment opportunities. Hosting the world,”
The WIEF will showcase London’s role as the leading Western hub for
Islamic Finance and lay the foundation for strengthening our bond with
the Islamic world, Lister added.
London has taken proactive measures to grow Islamic Finance in an
attempt to attract more investment from the Middle East and other Muslim
countries in the Asean region, believing these are essential to further
boost London’s standing as an important centre for the industry.
There is a growing appetite for Shariah-compliant investments in
London as it grows in Malaysia and Asean, the Maybank Islamic feels that
it is well placed to bridge prospective clients in facilitating their
In addition, Maybank Islamic is also actively expanding its foreign currency business in the retail banking space.
The bank is in the final stage of launching an Islamic foreign
currency property financing product for London properties due to be
launched in fourthquarter of 2013.
On the other hand, Syed Abu Bakar said Malaysia will continue to play
a leading role in Islamic finance, through the WIEF, with London as a
new global centerpoint.
“As Malaysia continues to play a leading role in Islamic finance, the
World Islamic Economic Forum continues to be a strong advocate of
Islamic Finance in Muslim and non-Muslim communities around the world,”
Syed Abu Bakar said.
He also said that with London being an increasingly influential
driver of Islamic trade, there are greater opportunities to develop
Islamic economy at the forthcoming 9th WIEF in London this Oct 29-31,