Bank Muamalat ready for listing, says Munir

Asean Business Advisory Council Malaysia chairman Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid Interview with ASEAN Business Advisory Council member, Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Mohd Munir Abdul Majid

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd is ready to list on Bursa Malaysia if the shareholders said so, said chairman Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid.

He said the shareholders would certainly look for ways to add values to their holdings and find ways, including listing.

“If such a corporate exercise reaches us, we will have to deal with it. Listing as an option has being mentioned before. 

“We are a small bank that needs to grow -- organic or merger & acquisition (M & A),” he told reporters after the bank signed a corporate integrity pledge (CIP) in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday. 

The bank on Tuesday held an Integrity Day and signed the pledge with Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). 

Mohd Redza signed the pledge, witnessed by Munir and MACC’s Deputy Chief Commissioner (Prevention), Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali.

Bank Muamalat is a member of the DRB-Hicom Bhd. The public-listed group owns 70% stake and state investment arm, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the rest.

DRB-Hicom is required to pare down its stake in Bank Muamalat to 40% to comply with Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) requirements.

It is still dealing with the central bank over the issue, as Bank Muamalat’s proposed merger with Malaysia Building Society Bhd has not materialised.

Munir said the shareholders were better at answering the shareholding issue.

“As at this moment, the bank’s prime concern is on the business operations issues,” he said, when asked on the duration given to comply with the BNM’s guidance. 

Both listing and M and A would result in a dilution of shareholdings, he said.

Meanwhile, the bank’s chief executive officer, Datuk Mohd Redza Shah Abdul Wahid, said the listing must benefit the shareholders value-wise and the market must be right and conducive.

“The shareholders and the bank will look at those two factors. There are many stakeholders. Whatever happens it is the shareholders’ decision and they will decide on the timing (for listing),” he said.

In terms of market performance, he said, the bank could stand on its own. 

“The bank’s financing now is in excess of RM15bil and it has an expanding niche in the market,” he said.

He expected a moderate financing growth of between 6% and 8% for the bank’s current financial year ending March 31, 2017, compared to 10% in the same period last year.

“The growth would continue to be driven mainly by consumer financing of up to 60%, followed by financing to the corporate sector, and we will also moving towards digitalisation and e-commerce.

“As the market is slowing down this year, it is a good time for the bank to consolidate and to re-strategise before going to the next level,” he said.

Meanwhile, Munir said, the signing of the CIP signified the unilateral declaration by Bank Muamalat against corrupt practices and its resolve to work towards a highly-principled business environment based on syariah principles.

He said Bank Muamalat, being one of the Islamic financial institutions, played an important role to deter and detect corrupt practices.

“Preventing and deterring corrupt practices are only possible if all the law enforcement authorities, regulators, supervisors and the private sector work together.

“Therefore, cooperation and collaboration are not an option but a vital requirement.

“Having a comprehensive Corruption Framework alone is not enough. What is more important is how effective our implementation and its impact in preventing and deterring corrupt practices,” he said.

For the past years, he said, Bank Muamalat had developed and implemented various policies and procedures of corporate governance and anti-fraud, including anti-corruption, which aimed to eliminate corruption among staff, customers and vendors. - Bernama

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