By Sam Bridge
Maybank Islamic is the Shariah-compliant division of Malaysia's largest lender Malayan Banking Berhad
The first overseas branch of Maybank Islamic Berhad, the largest Islamic bank in Malaysia, has opened in Dubai.
Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and president of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) attended the official opening at DIFC.
Maybank Islamic is the Shariah-compliant division of Malaysia’s largest lender Malayan Banking Berhad and one of the leading arrangers in Bloomberg’s Global Sukuk League Table.
Maybank Islamic’s total assets stood at more than $57.35 billion as of September 30, 2019.
Sheikh Maktoum said: “Islamic Finance is a key element of Dubai’s economic strategy... The establishment of the first overseas office of Malaysia’s largest Islamic bank in Dubai is an acknowledgement of Dubai’s pivotal role at the heart of the Islamic economy and the strong advantages it offers institutions who base themselves here.
“Over the coming decade, Dubai aims to further consolidate its role as the capital of the rapidly growing Islamic Economy sector, which currently caters to the needs of about a quarter of the world's population. By building this sector, we look forward to creating new economic opportunities and establishing new partnerships that can bolster not only the development of the region but also the strength and sustainability of the global economy,” he added.
The opening comes a few months after Maybank Islamic was granted a full Islamic banking licence from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) in July.
Maybank Islamic Dubai DIFC branch will engage in wholesale banking with emphasis in corporate financing, treasury and capital markets and trade finance.
“We are delighted to be announcing the launch of Maybank Islamic’s operations in Dubai. The opening of our DIFC branch is indeed significant for us. Not only does this mark our very first overseas branch, but it also establishes us as Malaysia’s first Islamic bank to have a presence overseas,” said Dato’ Mohamed Rafique Merican, group CEO Maybank Group Islamic Banking and Maybank Islamic CEO.
“With Dubai being a leading Islamic economic centre, it was timely for Maybank Islamic to be here to tap into the increasing demand for financing in the global halal economy and to become a link between the GCC countries and the world’s fifth largest economy that is the ASEAN Economic Community. Indeed, we look forward to making the Dubai DIFC branch our hub for the MENA region.”
Essa Kazim, governor of DIFC said: “The DIFC continues to be a catalyst for growth in the Islamic finance sector, offering sharia-compliant products and services to over 600 million Muslims in the Middle East and Africa region alone.”
Maybank Islamic joins more than 2,300 active registered companies at DIFC.