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Friday, November 30, 2007

Al-Rajhi to help woo Mideast investors to east coast

The first foreign Islamic bank in Kelantan wants to be the catalyst in pulling in more Middle Eastern investments to help spur the East Coast Economic Region (ECER).

At the launching of its 19th branch in the country at Wisma Aminah Zain in Kota Baru, Kelantan, on Wednesday, Al-Rajhi Bank Malaysia (ARBM) officials were confident that its Syariah-compliant products, services and facilities would facilitate the flow of capital from the Middle East.

At the launching of the bank by Tengku Mahkota of Kelantan Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra, ARBM chief executive officer Ahmed Rehman said the bank's products adhere to the strictest of Syariah principles as practised in Saudi Arabia.

"This provides confidence to clients when dealing with Al-Rajhi Bank," he said.

"Our arrival in Kelantan follows the launching of the ECER. Al-Rajhi hopes to play a prominent role in attracting investors from the Middle East, as well as strengthening Malaysia as a regional Islamic hub," he said.

Ahmed said the bank has 14 other branches in the Klang Valley, and one each in Johor Baru, Malacca, Penang and Kuching. ARBM plans to have a network of 50 branches by 2010.

By New Straits Times (by Syed Umar Ariff)

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