Thursday October 21, 2010

Bank Islam shows interest in KLIFD project

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd has interest in the development of the proposed RM26bil KL International Financial District (KLIFD) real estate project, but is not in talks with any parties, Bank Islam managing director Datuk Seri Zukri Samat said.

“We are not in talks with any parties at the moment,” he said after the launch of the bank’s latest product Transact at Palm (TAP) mobile banking-i service yesterday.

KLIFD is a high-end mega property project that includes the development of a world-class financial hub that is expected to house many financial institutions – Islamic and conventional.

The project was mooted by the Government to invigorate the property sector and now appears to be on track with the recent MoU signing this month between 1Malaysia Development Bhd and strategic partner Mubadala Development Co (of Abu Dhabi) to develop the mega project.

Mubadala, as a partner, is expected to bring with it very strong global partnerships and linkages with international blue chip institutions across several sectors, including services, banking and finance.

Details of the KLIFD remains unclear but the endorsement of the proposed mega project has caught the attention of many international players, especially financial institutions.

One fund manager said there were quite a flurry of foreign enquiries about the KLIFD property and financial hub project but not much detail was known about the project, except the cost and that it would be located in the Federal Territory.

“We suspect the mega project will take some time to materialise,” he said.

The Government believes the development of a strong infrastructured financial centre such as KLIFD would put Malaysia on the world map in terms of recognition, particualrly as a leader in Islamic banking.

Zukri said Islamic banks in Malaysia were well developed and were offerring a host of Islamic products to individuals and corporations.

On Bank Islam’s latest product offering, Zukri Samat said TAP was Malaysia’s first mobile banking without Internet access.

TAP is a mobile banking service using mobile phone as the channel and payment device.

“We target to attract 100,000 new and existing customers to use TAP service over the next 12 months,” he said.

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