Islamic banking main pillar for Boustead’s expanding business

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Boustead HoldingsThe large company conglomerate of Boustead Holdings is bullish on the Malaysian domestic markets and the opportunities in East Asia. One of the main activities is the launch of Islamic finance products in China.

Boustead Holdings Berhad is one of Malaysia’s largest diversified company conglomerates and listed on the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange with a market capitalization in excess of RM5 billion ($1.6 billion). With more than 13,000 employees in over 100 subsidiaries the group controls assets of more than RM9 billion ($2.9 billion) in six primary sectors of the Malaysian economy: finance and investment, heavy industries, trading, manufacturing and services, property and plantation.
Tan Sri Dato’ Lodin Wok Kamaruddin, Deputy Chairman and Group Managing Director, is speaking of a “very good year [2011]”, during which the group has focused on its six core business activities.
Within its financial subsidiaries, Boustead is currently working with the Hong Kong-based Bank of East Asia to promote Islamic banking products in China. “China has got a strong Islamic population. And Islamic banking is still new; I don’t think the regulators have come up with guidelines in terms of how Islamic banks should operate in China. So we feel that as being a possible area that we could focus on looking very closely with Bank of East Asia,” he says. This could also be an interesting area for Middle East investors, he added.
“I believe that we could work well with some of the Middle East investors because the Malaysian government is emphasizing a lot on Islamic banking. I think today, we are probably one of the biggest issuer of sukuk bonds in the world, and I know the Central Bank and the government are also working very strongly to promote these Islamic banking products,” he says.
He also mentions there is a plan to establish an international financial services district in Kuala Lumpur. This is a project being undertaking by 1MDB [1Malaysia Developer Berhad], of which  Kamaruddin has been appointed chairman by the Malaysian Prime Minister.
“The objective is to promote foreign investment, focusing quite a bit on the Middle East, and to go into projects considered as megaprojects. One of them is the establishment of these international financial services district – we call it KLIFT –, and this covers an area of about 70 acres. They have prepared the master plan, which is impressive. And that will be launched, hopefully, by the end of the year. We are looking at financial services that are focusing on Islamic banking.”
Promotions for foreign investment opportunities into the KLIFT are already running, and talks with potential Middle East partners have been held. Qatar is member of the board of advisors for the project.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The large company conglomerate of Boustead Holdings is bullish on the Malaysian domestic markets and the opportunities in East Asia. One of the main activities is the launch of Islamic finance products in China.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Boustead HoldingsThe large company conglomerate of Boustead Holdings is bullish on the Malaysian domestic markets and the opportunities in East Asia. One of the main activities is the launch of Islamic finance products in China.

Boustead Holdings Berhad is one of Malaysia’s largest diversified company conglomerates and listed on the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange with a market capitalization in excess of RM5 billion ($1.6 billion). With more than 13,000 employees in over 100 subsidiaries the group controls assets of more than RM9 billion ($2.9 billion) in six primary sectors of the Malaysian economy: finance and investment, heavy industries, trading, manufacturing and services, property and plantation.
Tan Sri Dato’ Lodin Wok Kamaruddin, Deputy Chairman and Group Managing Director, is speaking of a “very good year [2011]”, during which the group has focused on its six core business activities.
Within its financial subsidiaries, Boustead is currently working with the Hong Kong-based Bank of East Asia to promote Islamic banking products in China. “China has got a strong Islamic population. And Islamic banking is still new; I don’t think the regulators have come up with guidelines in terms of how Islamic banks should operate in China. So we feel that as being a possible area that we could focus on looking very closely with Bank of East Asia,” he says. This could also be an interesting area for Middle East investors, he added.
“I believe that we could work well with some of the Middle East investors because the Malaysian government is emphasizing a lot on Islamic banking. I think today, we are probably one of the biggest issuer of sukuk bonds in the world, and I know the Central Bank and the government are also working very strongly to promote these Islamic banking products,” he says.
He also mentions there is a plan to establish an international financial services district in Kuala Lumpur. This is a project being undertaking by 1MDB [1Malaysia Developer Berhad], of which  Kamaruddin has been appointed chairman by the Malaysian Prime Minister.
“The objective is to promote foreign investment, focusing quite a bit on the Middle East, and to go into projects considered as megaprojects. One of them is the establishment of these international financial services district – we call it KLIFT –, and this covers an area of about 70 acres. They have prepared the master plan, which is impressive. And that will be launched, hopefully, by the end of the year. We are looking at financial services that are focusing on Islamic banking.”
Promotions for foreign investment opportunities into the KLIFT are already running, and talks with potential Middle East partners have been held. Qatar is member of the board of advisors for the project.

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