No hurry to issue permits for mega Islamic banks

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No hurry to issue permits for mega Islamic banks

No hurry to issue permits for mega Islamic banks

By Rupa Damodaran Available at:

BANK Negara Malaysia is in no hurry to issue the two licences for mega Islamic banks due to the large capital requirement and the need to find the right investors. The central bank was due to announce the winners last year but it has yet to do so.

Deputy governor Datuk Mohd Razif Abdul Kadir said although there are two groups keen on the licences, they are still looking for more partners.

“We are in no hurry as we have 17 Islamic banks. We’re looking to mega banks to enrich the landscape and they can also underwrite big ticket items,” he said after opening an Islamic finance conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

“We have to be realistic… it is a tough market and US$1 billion (RM3.03 billion) is not easy.”

Razif said local banks can also invite foreign partners for the licence, and allow them to hold a maximum of 70 per cent.

“The mega bank can be from two sources – either through a new licence or transform a domestic licence to a mega bank.

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