Bright future for Islamic banks in Malaysia, says Awang Adek

Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin

KUALA LUMPUR: Islamic banks in Malaysia enjoy a bright future as they are able to compete and have the resilience to survive in the country’s open and competitive economy, the Dewan Rakyat was told yesterday.

Deputy Minister of Finance Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin said 21 Islamic banks  are operating in Malaysia, with RM351 billion in combined total assets.

“There are 11 domestic Islamic banks; six foreign Islamic banks; and four international Islamic banks, reflecting bright prospects to plans to transform Malaysia into a premier international Islamic financial centre,” he said when replying to a question from Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff (PAS-Rantau Panjang).

Siti Zailah sought explanation on the implications to Islamic banks in the country following impending restructuring of the banks.

Awang Adek said the government had still no definite plans to carry out a restructuring exercise for banks, including for Islamic banks, except if the banks themselves conducted such an exercise.

He alluded to the government’s merger of commercial banks under which 23 local banks were merged into nine banks.

“Any merger exercise in future will hinge on the business decision by the banks’ board of directors and shareholders.

“Given the increasingly competitive economic scenario today, banks will find ways and means that will favour them,” he said.

Awang Adek said completed merger exercises thus far had yielded good impact for banks as they have emerged stronger with higher working capital, have opened more branches and enjoyed higher national profile in the banking sector.

“The mergers have also enhanced banks’ financial standing; improved their internal risk management; quality of their assets, efficient management; and are able to venture into regional and global markets,” he added. — Bernama

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