KUALA LUMPUR: The Islamic finance industry is on a steady growth path of about 20% per annum in Malaysia, said Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chairman Tan SriMohd Munir Abdul Majid.
“The rate of growth of Islamic financing has been impressive,” he told reporters after an agreement signing ceremony between Bank Muamalat and Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Bhd with Columbia Asia Sdn Bhd for an eight-year RM250mil syndicated financing facility yesterday.
The financing facility is based on the Islamic principle of Ijarah Muntaniah Bitamik.
Under the financing agreement, Bank Muamalat, the lead arranger and Bank Rakyat, the co-arranger would contribute RM150mil and RM100mil respectively to the financing package.
Mohd Munir said demand for Islamic financing has been increasing the past few years, especially after the recent global financial crisis.
The Islamic financing industry is believed to be worth about RM3.38 trillion worldwide.
Meanwhile, Columbia Asia vice-president (treasury services) Kahar Mohamed said the bulk of funds from the facility would be used to build three new hospitals in Bukit Rimau, Balakong and Setapak, which were expected to be completed by this year.
“Currently, we have six private hospitals that are fully operational spread across the country and have recently started another private hospital in Bintulu,” Kahar said.
The six hospitals are located in Miri, Shah Alam, Seremban, Puchong, Taiping and Nusajaya.
Kahar said the private hospitals were targeted at the medium income group and strategically located.
“The increasing demand for affordable healthcare services across Asia has resulted in a substantial increase in the number of people medically insured by employers and insurance companies.
“Hence we plan to aggressively expand to reach out to this group segment for long and short stay,” he said.
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