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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Affin, Mutiara Goodyear in Penang housing pact

Affin Islamic Bank CEO Kamarul Ariffin Mohd Jamil (left) exchanging documents with Hamidon Abdullah. Looking on is Affin Islamic Bank chairman Jen (R) Tan Sri Datuk Seri Ismail Omar

KUALA LUMPUR: Affin Islamic Bank Bhd and Mutiara Goodyear Development Bhd have entered into a musharakah (joint venture) financing arrangement for a high-end residential development in Penang with a gross development value of RM180mil.

Under the joint venture, Mutiara Goodyear would be responsible for the construction and sales of the development while Affin Islamic Bank would provide the required financing facilities.

Affin Islamic Bank chief executive officer Kamarul Ariffin Mohd Jamil said the musharakah was established via a registered special purpose vehicle called Affin-i Goodyear Sdn Bhd in which Affin Islamic Bank and Jurus Positif Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mutiara Goodyear, are joint partners.

“The financing arrangement is the first in the country to feature a combination of hybrid Islamic financing products in a partnership where profit and losses are shared equally. This is truly advantageous in times of economic uncertainty,” he said at the signing ceremony yesterday.

Mutiara Goodyear executive chairman Hamidon Abdullah said the company was in the midst of obtaining Penang state government approval for the development on an 8.8 acres in Bukit Gambir.

He did not anticipate any problems in getting the green light, adding that the project should take three years to complete.

“We are targeting the affluent market and are confident that this development would enjoy a high take-up rate, buoyed by the dynamic Penang property market and the influx of foreigners residing under the Malaysia MySecond Home Programme,” he said.

The property developer, which has an undeveloped land bank of about 800 acres in Penang and the Klang Valley, has lined up a few launches.

“We are planning commercial developments, comprising a shopping podium and office blocks at PJS 11 in Sunway; office suites at Prima Avenue, Kelana Jaya; and high-end bungalows at Nadayu Melawati, Ampang,” Hamidon said but did not elaborate.

Affin Islamic Bank, which celebrated its second anniversary yesterday, has targeted a 10% growth in pre-tax profit this year from RM58mil last year.

The bank, which hopes to increase its disbursement of loans by 15% this year from the total of RM1.7bil in 2007, also plans to expand to Indonesia in the near future.

“Islamic banking penetration is very low as it comprises only about 1% of total banking assets in Indonesia,” he said, adding that the bank also hoped to springboard to China as well as the Hong Kong market via its 25% stakeholder, Hong Kong-based Bank of East Asia Ltd.

By The Star (by Laalitha Hunt)

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