ASIA: UOB Malaysia to strengthen its sharia portfolio

United Overseas Bank Malaysia (UOB Malaysia) announced its plan to strengthen its Islamic banking portfolio in the market, as well as evaluate opportunities in the region. According to the bank’s Head of Islamic Banking, Amir Alfatakh Yusof, UOB Malaysia intends to scale up its Islamic banking offerings in Malaysia to meet regional demand on Shariah services across the region. UOB Malaysia is also considering key South-East Asian markets such as Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia – markets that continue to demonstrate increased customer appetite for Islamic banking products.

Currently, UOB Malaysia offers retail and wholesale Shariah-compliant products and is planning to launch more innovative products to meet more sophisticated needs of customers. On top of this, the bank aims to grow Islamic financing and deposits by MYR 3-5 billion (USD.7 – 1 billion) over the next few years by targeting small and medium businesses seeking alternative funding sources.

According to RFi Group data from the Malaysia SME Banking Council (H1 2017) and Malaysia Retail Banking Council (H2 2016), one in three SMEs hold an Islamic banking product (28%) and almost half of retail banking customers in Malaysia (50%) are receptive to Shariah-compliant products. UOB Malaysia’s plans to strengthen its Islamic banking proposition is likely to be well received by the market.

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