Qamber Ali Al Mulla Michael H Tomalin and Leong See Meng
at the press conference to announce official launch
of NBAD – Malaysia in Kuala Lumpu
NBAD opens Malaysia unit; plans expansion
Kuala Lumpur, October 8, 2012
The National Bank of Abu Dhabi plans to triple its contribution from Islamic banking by introducing sharia-compliant services in Egypt, Oman and Malaysia, its CEO said at the launch of its Malaysian subsidiary on Monday.
NBAD aims to derive up to 10 percent of its operating income from Islamic banking by 2020, from 3 percent currently, chief executive Michael Tomlin told reporters.
NBAD has invested 310 million ringgit ($101.5 million) in paid-up capital to establish a wholly-owned subsidiary in Malaysia where it will focus on conventional products for wholesale clients.
“Southeast Asia is one of the fastest growing regions in the world with strong commercial links to UAE. Malaysia is the region’s largest trading partner with the Gulf region and in the UAE in particular, making it a natural choice for us to establish a Subsidiary here,” said Michael H Tomalin, the Group chief executive of NBAD.
NBAD issued a 500 million ringgit sukuk, or Islamic bond, in Malaysia two years ago that earned a coupon rate of 4.9 percent after its orderbook was oversubscribed by more than two times.
“NBAD-Malaysia comes into existence at the most dynamic period in Arab-Malaysian commercial history,” said Leong See Meng, the chief executive officer of NBAD – Malaysia.
“The trade ties between Malaysia and the Arab world have existed for many centuries, going back to 13th century Malacca. The free Trade Agreement between Malaysia and GCC begins a new era and creates great opportunities.
“NBAD-Malaysia is strategically positioned to, again, bridge Arab business interest with Malaysia and further strengthens the healthy bilateral trade and investments between both parties,” he said.
Leong added: “NBAD-Malaysia offers our customers unrivaled access to the Arab world and several other countries where NBAD, one of the World’s 50 Safest Banks, has active operation.”
NBAD is 70.5 percent owned by the government of Abu Dhabi and recently expanded into Malaysia and China, taking its global presence to 14 countries. The contribution to group operating profit from its overseas businesses rose to 28 percent in the first half of 2012, compared with 16.3 percent last year.
"Our strategy is to take the bank from a presence in 14 countries to around 41 countries in the next ten years," senior general manager of NBAD's international banking division Qamber Ali Al Mulla said.
“In the short to medium term our new destinations will be Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq, India, South Sudan, Turkey, Brazil, Australia, Singapore, Canada, Indonesia, South Korea and Vietnam” he added.
It aims to open 30 branches in Malaysia within the next decade. Malaysia has also been named as a regional hub for NBAD, with plans to expand into Indonesia and Singapore.
"Malaysia represents a strategic importance for us given its ideal geographical location, stability and healthy market climate. Malaysia was chosen given its significant economic clout in the region and its robust trading activities with the Gulf," said the company in a statement. – Reuters & TradeArabia News Service