Bank Islam expects 20% loan growth

Bank Islam Malaysia expects a 20% year-on-year growth for its financing assets this year led by its retail financing business with demand for individual and housing credit. Bank Islam will also focuse on growing its fee-based income which had been very encouraging in the recent period. Cost is a major concern for banks. There has been some softening in loan demand. Bank Islam has originally been concentrating more on owner-occupied houses rather than speculation-based buying. The bank is planning to open at least five new branches in Malaysia by the end of this year with the first one being in Kelantan. Currently, the bank has 133 branches and a total retail deposit of about RM8 billion.