Business

Plan to make Malaysia regional sukuk leader

KUALA LUMPUR, May 27 — Bank Negara and the Securities Commission will introduce a new master plan to make Malaysia the region’s leader in non-ringgit sukuk and other financial services.

“Our regulators have put in place policies, established institutions and provided incentives to encourage the development of such a market,” said Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Husni Hanadzlah.

“We would like to see local financial institutions positioning themselves to be leaders in this market space.”

However, the minister played things close to his chest and did not divulge any specifics of the plan in his keynote speech at the 14th Malaysian Banking Summit 2010 here today.

Husni also cautioned that Malaysia should not become complacent despite being strongly competitive in Islamic banking and capital markets.

“We must be mindful that other Islamic markets are expanding rapidly,” he said.

“We must therefore accelerate the execution of our developmental plans to establish our strengths in other parts of the financial services value chain.”

He said Malaysia needs to work harder to transform its strong core competencies — its regulatory framework, syariah standards, education and range of products — in exporting intermediation and advisory services abroad.

Husni added the country can position Islamic wealth management as a strong emerging capability given the rapid growth of the Asia Pacific and Middle East asset management industries.

“Malaysia has the technical expertise in syariah-compliant investments. What we do not have is branding, which is crucial in the asset management business,” he said.

“I urge our local institutions to explore the possibility of establishing partnerships and joint ventures with globally renowned asset management brands to develop this exciting business.”

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