Aberdeen Asset Management Plc

Asia, Middle East Institutions to Create `Mega' Islamic Bank

Malaysia, the world’s biggest market for Islamic bonds, will issue a license before the end of this year to a new Islamic bank that will be jointly established by institutions from Asia and the Middle East.
The newly formed entity will have a capital of at least $1 billion, Zeti said in an interview late yesterday, without naming the companies or organizations involved. A second so- called “mega Islamic bank” permit may be issued by the central bank next year.
Muslim-majority Malaysia began pioneering Shariah-compliant finance with its first Islamic bank three decades ago. It is today responsible for more than 60 percent of the world’s $130 billion outstanding Islamic bonds, or sukuk, that comply with the religion’s ban on interest, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The new bank will be able to facilitate larger issuance of such notes.
The country has offered tax breaks and other incentives to attract global financial institutions including Aberdeen Asset Management Plc and Franklin Templeton Investments in a bid to cement its role as the global Islamic financial hub of Asia.

Malaysia’s Islamic Banking Assets Climb to 20 Percent of Total

Islamic banking in Malaysia, the world’s biggest market for sukuk, rose 21 percent in the first seven months of 2010 from a year earlier, and accounted for 20 percent of the total, the government said in a report.
The Southeast Asian nation, where about 60 percent of the 27 million population are Muslim, lowered foreign-ownership limits in financial institutions in 2009 to attract more international investors. The central bank has issued Islamic licenses over the past year to global funds that include Aberdeen Asset Management Plc and Franklin Templeton Investments.

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