PNB in push to enhance global Islamic banking

16 August, 2017      407



KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 — In an effort to turn the country into a centre of global Islamic banking, Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) will push for bigger Islamic finance activities with its strategic companies.

“We will intensify efforts to address more shariah-based financing products,” its group chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, said.

“For example, 25 per cent of revenue gained by the Maybank Group was from Islamic banking activities. We are looking to expand such activities through providing more Islamic based financial services.”

Wahid was speaking at a luncheon talk organised by the Malaysia Press Institute at Sime Darby Convention Centre yesterday.

“We are hiring shariah experts to strengthen PNB shariah management, developing Maqasid Syariah or an Investment Security Framework along with continuous engagement with state muftis among other efforts to ensure that we provide more Islamic finance products,” he said.

For Wahid, the move to increase market capitalisation for Islamic shares would be done through ring fence protection based system.

“We are working on carving out 20 per cent of Maybank shares into Islamic shares or i-shares,” he said.

“The mechanisms are still in the works. If it's successful, other groups such as CIMB Group Bhd, RHB Bank and Bursa Malaysia may copy the model and the Maybank i-shares would be worth RM20 billion.”

This is possible as PNB has a 48 per cent stake in Maybank and is able to convince the bank to pursue more shariah-compliant Islamic banking activities.

Wahid said 60 per cent of the companies listed on Bursa Malaysia was already shariah-compliant. This meant the profits generated were from shariah-compliant stocks, worth RM1.7 billion.

Wahid, who was minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of the Economic Planning Unit from 2013 to 2016, has helped Malaysia through several financial rationalisation plans which included drawing up the 11th Malaysia Plan.

“I also helped in bringing the private sector perspectives to the government. Same goes for assisting in fiscal consolidation and subsidy rationalisation,” he said.

“I also helped in dealing with the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, although now the deal has reneged.”

The former PNB group chairman also outlined other achievements, including the launch of PNB Strategic Plan 2017-2022 codenamed “STRIVE 15” on Nov 26 last year to turn into a distinctive world-class investment house.

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