Saturday, October 19

Maybank Islamic focus on healthy capital, liquidity as buffer against economic headwinds

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Muzaffar Hisham speaks durign the Press Club-Maybank Islamic Bhd Media Workshop on ‘Islamic Banking & Finance’ yesterday. — Bernama photo

Muzaffar Hisham speaks durign the Press Club-Maybank Islamic Bhd Media Workshop on ‘Islamic Banking & Finance’ yesterday. — Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR: Maybank Islamic Bhd, the Islamic banking arm of Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), is focused on ensuring a healthy capital and liquidity buffer in the face of the current economic challenges.

Chief executive officer Datuk Muzaffar Hisham said Islamic banking and financial institutions as such, need strong, effective and sustainable risk management strategies.

Speaking to reporters at the National Press Club-Maybank Islamic Bhd Media Workshop on “Islamic Banking & Finance” yesterday, he said the risk management helps to evaluate risks and formulate mitigating action.

“In the meantime, we are able to provide adequate returns to shareholders and customers who have deposits with us.

“Without doubt, we are facing challenges from the economic headwinds resulting from lower oil and commodity prices, as well as uncertainty over China’s economic growth,” he added.

In terms of assets and financing outlook, Muzaffar said Maybank Islamic expects to see between nine and 10 per cent growth this year as compared with about 18-19 per cent year-on-year in 2015.

“We would be more conservative this year. Bear in mind that we are the largest Islamic bank in Asean,” he added.

For the financial year ended Dec 31, 2015, Maybank Islamic’s total assets exceeded US$36 billion, while gross financing reached RM131.1 billion, with deposits at RM123.4 billion.

The bank’s diverse products and services are available via a network of over 400 Maybank branches in Malaysia, 459 in Indonesia, 22 in Singapore as well as in Hong Kong, London and Bahrain.

Meanwhile, Muzaffar said Maybank Islamic was always open to merger and acquisition opportunities in the region, as part of the Maybank Group’s strategy.

“We’re always open to opportunities, but it must come with fairness and reciprocity in terms of regulations.

“If the regulation and the market opportunity is conducive enough for Maybank and Maybank Islamic, we will definitely want to have a look,” he said.

Currently, Maybank Islamic, which is focusing on Singapore and Indonesia as part of its internationalisation initiative, has effectively contributed to the Group’s earnings over the last few years.

Meanwhile, the media workshop was held at the Bernama Centre for Excellence. — Bernama