Bank Islam sees slower growth in 2016

Bank Islam branch in Section 14, Petaling Jaya. Bank Islam is the banking arm of Main Board-listed BIMB Holdings Bhd. (Pix taken by Hafidz Mahpar for Star Online)

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd (BIMB) expects slower growth in 2016 compared to last year amid the current economic challenges.

“This year will be a challenging year; the (overall) growth this year will be slower than in 2015,” managing director Datuk Seri Zukri Samat told reporters after launching the “E-donation” Terminal Using Visa PayWave Programme in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

“I hope the bank will maintain double-digit growth in terms of financing performance as achieved last year,” he said.

Asked on plans to open more Bank Islam branches this year, Zukri said the bank was still assessing the current economic situation.

He said the bank aimed to raise the number of branches to 150 in 2015, but amid the challenging economic situation, only managed to bring it up to 146 branches, with four -- one in Sabah or Sarawak, one in Kedah and two in Selangor -- still under consideration.

He said the bank was eyeing 600,000 payWave debit cards issued in 2016, up  from 200,000 cards issued by end-December 2015.

Zukri said the bank had invested millions of ringgit in the “E-donation” Terminal Using Visa PayWave programme, and aims to provide these terminals to 10 mosques nationwide, including in Sabah and Sarawak.

“We will provide two terminals in each mosque,” he said, adding the next terminals would be set up in a mosque in Putrajaya, probably by next month.

Meanwhile, country manager of Visa Malaysia, Ng Kong Boon, said the global payments technology company had more than 2.5 million Visa payWave cards in circulation in Malaysia.

“We have also seen a year-on-year growth of close to 200% in payment volume for the transactions as of November 2015. I think 2016 will be a good year for Visa payWave in the world,” he added. - Bernama

BIMB Holdings shares gained 5 sen to close at RM3.92 on Thursday, with 2.189 million shares changing hands.
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