KUALA LUMPUR: The CIMB Islamic Bank plans to launch the Ar-Rahnu Islamic pawnbroking business in Malaysia in the second half of this year following the success of the similar business in Indonesia under CIMB Niaga Syariah, said chief executive officer Badlisyah Abdul Ghani.
“We’ve been fairly successful in our Ar-Rahnu business in Indonesia and it’s time for us to do the business here. We”ve obtained Bank Negara’s approval and once we finalise our delivery framework, we’ll launch the business most likely in the east coast.
“Malaysia’s market size is large and we believe there are ample opportunities for us despite being a late starter,” he told Bernama in an interview.
Although Badlisyah was cautious about the performance this year, he expects CIMB Islamic Bank and the group’s overall Islamic banking franchise to experience another good year.
“I am cautiously optimistic about 2012 in the light of all that is happening globally and the tighter regulatory framework and the general election fever at home, but I believe we will do well this year, better than last year. We are focused on growing our CASA (Current Account Savings Account) and hope to see double-digit growth in both our financing and deposit base,” he said.
CIMB Islamic has done well in Islamic investment banking, topping the global sukuk (Islamic bond) league table again last year, and entrenching its position as the second largest Islamic bank by assets in Malaysia and in the Asean region. For its financial year ended Dec 31 2011, CIMB Islamic Bank registered another record year, posting RM447 million profit before zakat (tithe), about nine per cent of the group’s pre-tax profit.
He said the bank’s assets grew 24.7 per cent to RM28.4 billion while the total financing book grew 28.9 per cent to RM29.2 billion, 15 per cent of the group’s total financing and 13 per cent of the overall financing asset of the Islamic banking industry.
On group level, Badlisyah said total revenue from Islamic banking operations across the CIMB Group totalled RM1.47 billion, the highest Islamic revenue generated since the group established the “CIMB Islamic” franchise in 2002.
Badlisyah said Malaysia’s operations contributed 89 per cent of the group’s total Islamic banking revenue, with Indonesia and Singapore accounting for about seven per cent and one per cent, respectively.
“We believe there is huge potential upside in Indonesia and we hope to grow its contribution to overall business to 10 per cent or more this year. The idea is to have a regionalised Islamic business in tandem with CIMB Group’s conventional business,” he added. — Bernama