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Tue 5 Feb 2008 04:18 PM

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HSBC Amanah expects 60% revenue growth

Islamic unit of HSBC Group says growth driven by business in Saudi and Malaysia.

HSBC's global Islamic financial services arm said on Monday it expects revenue to grow by at least 60% over the next few years, led by business in Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.

"We have been growing at 60, 70% plus, CAGR (compound annual growth rate), over the last three years, and we fundamentally don't see that slowing anytime soon," Asif Mumtaz, Middle East head of HSBC Amanah, told newswire Reuters in Dubai.

Nearly all new consumer finance business at Amanah's Saudi affiliate, SABB, is Sharia-compliant, he added.

"In three to five years, it may be not too far away for the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council as well," Mumtaz said. Saudi Arabia, where it owns 40% of SABB, is HSBC's largest Islamic finance market, he added.

In Malaysia, where about 55% of the country's 27 million people are Muslim, HSBC wants to use its license to expand its Islamic financial services, especially for individuals, Mumtaz said.

"The Islamic finance industry is going to be huge in the next five to 10 years," he said.

Islamic insurance services, or takaful, will grow particularly quickly as the industry is underdeveloped, Mumtaz said.

Revenue from institutional business, such as arranging the sale of Islamic bonds, or sukuk, is also growing, he added.

HSBC Amanah said on Tuesday it has been named Best International Islamic Bank at an awards ceremony for the Islamic finance industry.

It was also voted Best Fund Manager, as well as winning the award for the Best Sukuk Deal, in Euromoney magazine's 2008 Islamic Finance Awards, the lender said.

"We are thrilled about this exciting achievement which attests to the hard work and perseverance of our colleagues at HSBC Amanah globally," said Nabeel Shoaib, global head of HSBC Amanah.

Shoaib also added that the aggregate value of international sukuk transactions undertaken by HSBC Amanah is $10 billion, without giving a timeframe.

HSBC Amanah has a team of nearly 200 staff pioneer Islamic financial products and services across the world, including the Middle East, Brunei, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Turkey, the US and the UK.

It was also recently ranked as the eight largest non-governmental Islamic financial institution by Sharia-compliant assets in the global listing of the Top 500 Islamic Financial Institutions, conducted jointly by The Banker Magazine and HSBC Amanah.

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