Maybank Islamic to grow trade financing biz

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 6): Malaysian Islamic banks are boosting their trade financing market share with various measures.

Maybank Islamic Bhd Chief Executive Officer Datuk, Mohamed Rafique Merican, said the bank intended to grow its trade facilities in line with growing demand for Islamic finance in Malaysia and the ASEAN region as well as the phenomenal growth of global halal industry.

To-date, Maybank Islamic has about one-third share in terms of trade facilities done under Islamic banks, he said.

He said as of 2015, only 3.4 per cent were conducted through Islamic banks out of total international trade of US$50 billion (US$1 = RM3.86).

"For us in Maybank Islamic, we want to continue to maintain our market share (for trade) as well as to grow in line with the industry.

"We also have the ASEAN footprint and the broader footprint globally, for example, in China, UK and the Gulf Cooperation Council. We want to actually promote not just Islamic trade facilities but also other broader Islamic financing as well as capital markets," he said.

Mohamed Rafique was speaking to reporters after a Chief Executive Officers’ forum on ‘Islamic Trade Finance: Revitalising Trade and Unlocking New Potential’ here today.

The forum is organised by the Association of Islamic Banking Institution of Malaysia on the sidelines of Malaysia International Halal Showcase 2018.

Mohamed Rafique said a lot more could be done to boost Islamic trade facilities, which stood at 1.5 per cent out of US$50 billion.

"Malaysia stood at 3.4 per cent. A lot more can be done. There are areas that we have identified such as awareness and acceptance that are comparable and they are also able to meet the requirements of any of the participants within the trade side," he added.

Meanwhile, RHB Islamic Bank Bhd’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Adissadikin Ali, said Islamic banks would need to collaborate with the financial technology players to provide e-commerce trade financing.

He said not many banks were looking at funding e-commerce trade in a big way as the industry was a deviation to what bankers were used to.

"We used to do credit assessments based on documents and on the companies that are established. When you talk about e-trade, usually these are people who are new but they are going big in doing e-trade.

"So, as they grow and as they keep on selling, the biggest problems that these people have are actually working capital. No one has the deepest pockets," said Adissadikin.

Adissadikin said RHB Islamic Bank was developing an e-commerce trade financing platform to enable companies to boost their working capital and the platform was likely to implemented next year.

"We will go in as soon as possible. This is something new, even within our banking group. A lot of socialising needs to be done with our risk management people and the processes need to be checked," he said.