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NEWS UPDATES 25 January 2010

Malaysian firm in Australia to promote Islamic finance

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Malaysian law firm Zaid Ibrahim & Co has been granted licences by Australian authorities to operate offices in Sydney and Melbourne to promote Islamic finance, the Australian daily reported.

The paper quoted chairman and senior partner of the firm Datuk Dr Nik Norzul Thani as saying that his firm was keen to take advantage of the growing interest in Islamic finances and was planning to open offices in Australia this year.

Dr Nik, who was in Australia recently, said his primary focus was to promote Islamic finance and provide syariah (sharia) advisory services. The firm also wanted to work with lawyers, bankers and accountants to facilitate investment from Malaysia to Australia and help firms wanting to do business in Malaysia.

The newspaper said Zaid Ibrahim's expansion comes at an opportune time as the Australian Financial Centre Forum this week recommended the government act to remove barriers to the development of Islamic finance.

"The greatest opportunity for Australia, in terms of assessing offshore capital pools to finance domestic investment needs competitively as possible, would appear to be in the area of developing syariah compliant-wholesale investment products," the report said.

The global market for Islamic financial services was estimated at $729 billion at end 2007, it said.


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