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Friday July 10, 2009

Britain seeks Malaysian expertise

It’s keen to tie up in Islamic finance

KUALA LUMPUR: Britain welcomes the liberalisation of Malaysia’s financial services sector, in particular, the areas concerning Islamic finance.

The Lord Mayor of London Alderman Ian Luder said Britain and Malaysia had long established links in the field of Islamic finance.

“We are particularly keen to follow this up by working with Malaysia in areas such as professional exchanges between Islamic finance staff, experts and student and joint education programmes,” he said in his speech at the Malaysia-UK Islamic Finance Forum here on Wednesday.

The liberalisation measures include the issuance of five new legal licences for international law firms in Islamic finance.

Bank Negara has also raised foreign ownership limits of local Islamic banks, investment banks and insurance companies to 70% from 49%.

“We also believe we should work together on policy exchanges and mutual recognition of standards, and we are very keen to work with your expertise in developing the market,” Luder said.

He said syariah-compliant finance was a global growth area, with Muslims making up a fifth of the world population.

“Indeed, Britian has become the leading Western country for syariah-compliant by assets and London has been providing syariah-compliant financial services for 30 years,” he said.

He added that Malaysia had an “even longer” history in syariah-compliant finance.

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