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Tuesday April 19, 2011

Affin sees potential of Islamic banks in Indonesia

KUALA LUMPUR: Affin Holdings Bhd expects to complete the conversion of PT Bank Ina Perdana of Indonesia into a syariah-compliance bank in two years once the acquisition of the bank is completed in the second half of this year.

Chairman Tan Sri Mohd Zahidi Zainuddin said the group was in the midst of getting an approval from Bank of Indonesia after being given the nod by Bank Negara last December for the proposed acquisition.

“It will take two years for PT Bank Ina Perdana to be transformed and this acquisition is part of the group’s plans for business expansion,” he told reporters after the group’s AGM yesterday.

Affin Bank Bhd managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Zulkifllee Abbas said the group wanted to tap the vast potential of Islamic banking in Indonesia through the bank.

Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin (left) and Tan Sri Mohd Zahidi Zainuddin at the press conference after the group’s AGM.

“This is what we are looking into as there are already a lot of conventional banks in Indonesia,”he said.

On the local front, the group said it was not looking for merger and acquisitions (M&As) with other local bank at the moment.

Deputy chairman Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin said the group would continue to strengthen its business and management in view of the stiff competition in the market. “We expect our overall loan growth to be around 15% to 18% for this financial year ending December 31 which is the same as last year’s figure and if we manage to achieve that target, we are doing good in our business. However, if opportunities arise for M&As, we are open,” he said.

The group had last year proposed to buy PT Bank Ina Perdana for RM138mil and if materialised, it would have a majority shareholding of 80% in Bank Ina, which has 22 branches, sub-branches and cash offices in major cities in west Java and east Java as well as Jakarta.

Lodin also said China was another country that the group was eyeing for potential business, particularly in Islamic banking.

“Affin and our partner Bank East Asia Ltd of Hong Kong are working together to find potential products and services that can be offered in the country,” he said.

A recent report said the group and Bank East Asia Ltd planned to open an Islamic bank in China.

According to the group’s Annual Report 2010, Bank East Asia Ltd holds 23.5% in Affin.

In a press release issued yesterday, Lodin said: “The group will continue its success and improve its operational efficiencies while we look forward to introduce new products and campaigns that are tailored to the varied needs of our growing number of customers.

”With the strong financial performance in 2010, Affin is poised for greater growth to expand locally and regionally.

“Additionally, with expansion plans and strategic initiatives that we currently have in place, Affin will be a competitive one-stop financial provider.

“The prospects for the group are very encouraging as it is also looking beyond the Malaysian shores to Indonesia, with its proposed acquisition of PT Bank Ina Perdana. We will continue to focus our efforts on growing our business portfolio and building a company that will enhance value for our stakeholders,” he said.

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