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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  11 November 2014  

Maybank considers Islamic banking operations in Brunei

MALAYSIA’s Maybank is considering offering Islamic banking products in Brunei in the “long run”, said the bank’s country head and general manager for Brunei operations the day before yesterday.

“We are definitely exploring (the idea of offering Islamic banking products in Brunei) but it will not be in one or two years because there will be a lot of things that we need to consider,” Lim Yu Kwang told The Brunei Times the day before  yesterday.

He said a number of requirements will have to be fulfilled before the bank can offer Islamic banking products.

“You need different kinds of requirements, system wise, and the Islamic compliant ways of doing things, you also need Shariah scholars,” he said.

He, however, admitted Brunei offers opportunities for the bank due to a majority of the population being Muslim.

“Brunei being a Muslim country, I think at least 70 per cent are Muslims, for them, Islamic banking products may actually be a very attractive alternative investment,” said Lim.

In a previous interview with The Brunei Times, Lim said his bank is seeking to boost brand visibility ahead of plans to increase revenue. He said the bank is looking to “upscale its value proposition” by firstly increasing the number of customer “touch points” in the country.

Currently the bank has four Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in the country, according to Lim, who had also highlighted the need to improve customer service as a way to build rapport alongside improved brand presence.

The bank also aims to achieve an eight-minute turnaround time for its counter services.

For both objectives, he said that the bank is working for the changes to take place “by the end of the year” and added that every improvement made is part of the overall plans to grow revenue.

The bank’s move to Kiarong in order to centralise Brunei-Muara district operations, contributes greatly to the brand presence as the branch is now situated in an area where it is easily within sight, according to Lim.

Maybank has been recognised as one of the world’s top 20 strongest banks by premier financial news institute, Bloomberg Markets, in both 2013 and 2014.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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