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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs 14 July 2014  

Muamalat upbeat after reaching growth target

Sharia lender PT Bank Muamalat is optimistic upon reaching its 30 percent financing growth target for 2014 and plans to focus on the Malaysian market.

Muamalat corporate secretary Meitra Nino Sari said on Thursday that the bank would first focus on the Malaysian market due to the branch’s progress in that country.

“We have collected up to Rp 1.3 trillion [US$112.2 million] in assets from our Malaysian branches. We are expecting a 30 percent growth in assets there as well,” he added.

Muamalat has also planned to open 50 more automated teller machines (ATMs) in Malaysia in a move to further possibilities for expansion in the neighboring country.

As for its Indonesian business, Nino said that the central bank’s interest rate increase of 175 points last year to 7.5 percent would likely affect the pace of financing growth, which has been affected by wait-and-see trends among borrowers during this election year.

“In response to a possible slowdown of credit distribution, the bank will be more selective in choosing its customers,” he added.

Nevertheless, Muamalat remains optimistic that the bank will book at least 20 percent and up to 30 percent growth in financing this year, according to Nino. The bank is also aiming to book Rp 1 trillion in net profits this year, supported by its optimistic outlook on financing.

Muamalat’s financing growth was between 15 and 20 percent in the first quarter of the year, buoyed by the mortgage sector, which remains the bank’s highest contributor.

The bank currently possesses a 17 percent capital adequacy ratio (CAR), well above the central bank’s 8 percent requirement, which means it has enough capital to extend loans.

The bank is also currently awaiting a standby $90 million bilateral loan from a Malaysian bank, which Nino said is still awaiting approval by Bank Indonesia (BI).

“Once the loan is cleared, we will utilize it to fund further expansion plans and hopefully clear the rent on our current office building [on Jl. Jendral Sudirman, Central Jakarta],” he added.

Muamalat is also confident about the growth of their third party funds (DPK), despite the country’s tight liquidity environment.

Nino elaborated that the bank had planned to launch new undisclosed programs to accommodate customer demand. He also mentioned that Muamalat’s DPK was currently dominated by high deposits.

Muamalat has also aired plans to boost its market share in the sharia banking sector, partly by adding more ATMs and service offices this year.

“We currently possess a 26 percent market share, which is the second-largest in the sharia sector. What we can do to try and compete with other banks is to improve our network by increasing the number of our ATMs from 1400 to 2000 nationwide,” Nino said at a Muamalat event in Jakarta on Thursday.

He added that the bank also planned to open five more branches in 2014 across the archipelago. Currently, Muamalat has a total of 500 service offices nationwide.

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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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