KUCHING: HSBC Amanah Malaysia Bhd (HSBC Amanah) is set to complete its footprint in Malaysia ahead of schedule with plans to open three more branches in Melaka, Seremban and Kelantan by the end of the year after the launch of its Kuching branch yesterday.
According to HSBC Amanah chief executive officer (CEO), Rafe Haneef, “We were given a time frame by Bank Negara when we first started in 2007 to open 26 branches by 2013.
“Given the overwhelming response from our customers and the business community, we have been able to complete the 26 branches ahead of time.
“So by December we would have launched all the 26 branches and be present in all the major areas in the country.”
The CEO added that after the completion of the 26 branches, there would not be any plans in the near future to further expand as it would take some time for the company to extract better value from these branches.
“So in terms of more branches we don’t have anything in plan for the moment. The plan is to increase productivity in these branches,” he stated.
In terms of a more-regional expansion, Haneef explained that, “For the time being, we are trying to complete our footprint in Malaysia first.
By the end of the year we would have completed the first phase, which is to establish a presence in all major cities in Malaysia.
“The second phase is still under planning, we have to be successful in these cities prior to moving on to the second stage.
“But in all the centres that we have opened we have had phenomenal support from the local communities which made our expansion much easier.”
At the moment, HSBC Amanah has been on track in their efforts to expand its presence nationwide with the company’s asset book doubling the past two years from RM4 billion in 2011 to over RM8 billion in 2012.
“Our profit before tax (PBT) in June 2011 was RM52 million and in June 2012 our PBT was RM80 million,” Haneef stated.
“Over the past decade, Malaysia’s Islamic finance sector has seen strong growth in assets under management. We believe that with the strong support form Bank Negara, Islamic banks may control a significant share of Malaysia’s banking assets by the next decade.
“In tandem with Bank Negara’s efforts towards the internalisation of Islamic finance, the industry which was domestic focused has now shown great progress with more offerings of Shariah compliant solutions for cross-border trade and investments.
“Globally, the Islamic finance industry continues to see double digit growth, with total Islamic assets surpassing the US$1 trillion mark,” Haneef elaborated.