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Labuan To Serve As Kuwait Finance House's South East Asian Hub

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

30 November 2005


Kuwait Finance House, a leading Islamic banking group, has announced its intention to break into the South East Asian market through a new base in Labuan, which it hopes will come on stream next year.

Jamelah Jamaluddin, deputy chief executive of Kuwait Finance House in Malaysia, told reporters on the sidelines of an Islamic banking forum that the group sees potentially lucrative investment opportunities in real estate, infrastructure assets and power plants within the region. She added that KFH expects to receive a licence from the Labuan regulator by the end of the year.

"We want to position Malaysia as a regional hub for KFH in this part of the world which includes Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, to a certain extent China and India, and maybe Australia and New Zealand," Jamelah stated, adding that KFH is also attempting to make inroads into the Indonesian market.

KFH's Malaysian operation will initially focus on investment banking, and will later branch out into commercial and retail banking, providing consumer credit products such as mortgages, car financing, credit cards and insurance.

Kuwait Finance House was incorporated in the State of Kuwait in 1977, and is listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of US$1.95 billion as of 31 December 2001. The Government of Kuwait owns 49% of the equity, and the general public holds the remaining shares.


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