Friday August 28, 2009

More Islamic products from HSBC in pipeline

It wants to ride on good response to recent syariah-based offerings

KUALA LUMPUR: HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd plans to roll out more Islamic banking offerings based on the good response to its recently launched Islamic credit cards and mortgage product.

Executive director and deputy chief executive officer Jonathan Addis said the number of Islamic credit cards had grown to about 50,000.

“Our new Islamic mortgage has also received good response since it was launched a couple of weeks ago,” he said after a briefing on the bank’s regional outlook yesterday.

The group’s Islamic banking subsidiary HSBC Amanah that was set up last February posted a pre-tax profit and zakat of RM32.4mil for the first half-year ended June 30.

HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd executive director and deputy chief executive officer Jonathan Addis: 'We will consider opening more HSBC Amanah branches in the future'.

The banking group in Malaysia recorded a total pre-tax profit of RM442mil, a drop of 31.6% from a year ago.

HSBC Amanah currently has four branches – three in the Klang Valley and one in Penang.

“We will consider opening more HSBC Amanah branches in the future,” Addis said.

HSBC Asia-Pacific chief executive officer Sandy Flockhart said the group’s financial performance in Malaysia for the first six months was credible under the weak global economic condition.

On its regional performance, he said the figures reflected the resilience of its business that had remained profitable in Asia.

HSBC’s total pre-tax profit for the region stood at US$4.5bil in the first six months.

“And we have achieved quite a number of accomplishments for the period such as the completion of the acquisition of Bank Ekonomi in Indonesia while our global small and medium enterprise (SME) customers grew by 8% year-on-year.

“We also continue to lend to SMEs in all our major markets and participate in a wide range of SME funding backed by governments,” he said.

Going forward, Flockhart said the economic growth in Malaysia, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia in the second quarter indicated that the global economic downturn might have bottomed out.

“But the question is how strong and fast is the recovery? We anticipate a slow and more ‘realistic’ recovery that could take a long period to reach a stronger growth rate,” he said.

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