Al Baraka sees Malaysian bank deal by 2011
Manama, May 4, 2010
Bahraini Islamic lender Al Baraka expects to buy a stake in Malaysian Bank Muamalat by year-end, its chief executive said on Tuesday, as it seeks growth outside of its home market.
'There is a correspondence between us and them. We have stated our intention,' Adnan Yousif said on the sidelines of a conference, adding he expected a deal to close this year.
Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom holds a 70 per cent stake in Bank Muamalat and state investment agency Khazanah Nasional owns the rest.
Al Baraka's interest in the Malaysian lender comes as Gulf Islamic banks seek new growth areas to diversify earnings as domestic markets mature.
Al Baraka has already said it was planning to spend $30-50 million buying a bank in Indonesia as it seeks to expand its global footprint.
Yousif also said Al Baraka planned to grow assets to about $21 billion from about $14 billion currently over the next three years.
The bank also plans to open a representative office in Libya this year, having obtained initial approval from the country's central bank, he said. – Reuters