Datuk Zukri Samat

Bank Islam seeks expansion in region

Bank Islam Malaysia is exploring opportunities to expand its business in South-East Asia, especially in Indonesia. However, the bank has not identified suitable joint-venture partners to penetrate foreign market, according to its managing director, Datuk Zukri Samat. Bank Islam was earlier reported to have held talks with an Islamic bank in Indonesia to acquire up to 40% stake in the latter. Meanwhile, Zukri said, the bank aimed to expand its operations by opening five branches nationwide by year-end. Bank Islam recently closed a deal regarding a business zakat of RM320,000 to Majlis Agama Islam Johor. Zukri said the zakat payment represented part of the total RM9.2mil for financial year 2012, based on its profit of RM600mil the previous year.

Bank Islam still looking for Indonesia potentials

The listed vehicle for Bank Islam Malaysia, BIMB Holdings is looking at several options to expand through overseas penetration and local expansion. According to Bank Islam Malaysia managing director Datuk Zukri Samat, the bank is still pursuing plans of expansion to Indonesia through a strategic partner with broad experience. As a fully fledged Islamic bank, the task is more challenging, he said. Moreover, the bank is also extending the time for its discussions with the Dubai Financial Group over the 30.5% stake in Bank Islam to the end of the months, said BIMB group managing director Johan Abdullah.

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