Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Affin Islamic Bank Aims To Up Pre-tax Profit By 10 Percent

KUALA LUMPUR -- Affin Islamic Bank Bhd aims to increase pre-tax profit by 10 percent this year from RM58 million posted last year and it expects to register a 15 percent growth from almost RM2 billion Islamic loans disbursed previously.

Its chief executive officer Kamarul Ariffin Mohd Jamil said the growth will be driven by both traditional businesses and new products such as musharakah, an investment partnership where all parties are entitled to agreed profit ratio and losses are shared in proportion to the amount invested.

Kamarul said the bank was also looking to venture overseas and keen on Indonesia due to its low banking and financing penetration, especially on the Islamic front.

"As for Islamic banking, it is only about one percent of the total banking asset in Indonesia. There is a lot of potential there, with a population of about 250 million and bulk of them are Muslims," he said.

Kamarul said the bank was also looking at the markets in Hong Kong and China, especially through its association with the Bank of East Asia which holds a 20 percent stake in Affin Holdings Bhd.

He said Bank of East Asia, being a full-fledged bank in Hong Kong and the largest foreign bank in China, will provide opportunities for the Affin group to offer both conventional and Islamic finance.

"There is a lot of potential there because China has a big Muslim population with their heritage and history," he added.

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