Friday October 7, 2011
Alkhair seeks boutique bank
By EDY SARIF
It identifies potential targets, in talks with Bank Negara
KUALA LUMPUR: Alkhair International Islamic Bank (M) Bhd is in discussion with Bank Negara to get approval to start talking with potential acquisition targets, which will allow Alkhair to tap into the ringgit business in the country.
Chief executive officer Ikbal Daredia said the group had identified a couple of potential acquisition targets but they were not big banks.
“We are looking for a small boutique bank where we can then build on the business and not big banks such as Bank Islam that we used to target before,” he told reporters after the launch of a new brand identity for the bank.
It was the first foreign Islamic bank licensed to conduct a full range of non-ringgit activities under the Malaysia International Financial Centre initiative.
Earlier reports said the Bahrain-based bank was keen to acquire Dubai Group's 40% stake in Bank Islam but the plan was later scrapped.
Ikbal said the bank was targeting to increase its paid-up capital from the current US$24mil (RM76.4mil) by a further US$50mil by the end of this year.
“The target is in line with the bank's vision to establish a business hub in the country and to emerge as a major industry player,” he said, adding that the bank's current total assets in Malaysia were more than US$200mil.
In the past year, the bank has taken steps to safeguard its financial position by de-leveraging its balance sheet, strengthening liquidity profile and enhancing corporate governance framework.
It also re-focused its operating strategy to concentrate on its core Islamic markets.
The bank's main businesses are primarily in three areas - capital markets, corporate banking and treasury.