Malaysia’s Maybank opens Islamic AM firm in London

05 November 2013   Category: News, Malaysia, United Kingdom   By Asia Asset Management

The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, presided over the launch of Maybank Islamic Asset Management (Maybank Islamic AM) at the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) in London on October 29. Maybank Islamic AM is owned by Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank Group) through Maybank Asset Management Group Berhad, the holding entity for Maybank’s regional asset management and private equity businesses. 
Backed by Maybank’s expertise in Islamic finance in the areas of retail, corporate banking and Takaful (a form of Islamic insurance), the latest addition of Maybank Islamic AM aspires to be the Islamic asset manager serving as a doorway to the Asian Islamic finance industry for global investors.
The Malaysian government has implemented a strong and comprehensive Islamic financial system with a robust regulatory and supervisory framework, a deep primary market and active secondary sukuk market, a diverse talent base with global capabilities and connectivity, and product breadth and depth. As a result, Malaysia is a full-fledged international and regional hub in Islamic finance.
The CEO of Maybank Asset Management Group Limited, Nor’ Azamin Salleh, who oversees and heads the regional asset management businesses of Maybank comments: “As the 13th strongest bank in the world, one of the top banking groups in Southeast Asia and the number one banking group in Malaysia, Maybank has and will continue to play a pivotal role in elevating the significance of Islamic finance globally. Maybank Group, through Maybank Islamic’s capabilities and laurels, are well recognised as the leading Islamic banking player in ASEAN for both retail and corporate banking. In addition to that, Etiqa Takaful under the Maybank Group is also one of the largest players globally. Collectively, a total of US$8 billion worth of Islamic AUM resides within Maybank. All strengths combined, the establishment of Maybank Islamic AM as a dedicated Islamic asset management unit with tremendous business potential completes Maybank’s suite of Islamic financial offerings.”
CEO of Maybank Islamic AM, Azmeen Adnan notes: “Maybank Islamic AM aims to become a key player and catalyst in the development of the global Islamic asset Management landscape. Currently, our offerings includes Malaysia’s one-of-a-kind fixed priced Shariah real estate backed fund – Amanah Hartanah Bumiputra (AHB) – which has gained popularity amongst local investors due its innovative features, attractive and consistent payouts. In addition, we are also managing direct equity portfolio mandates for Hajj funds and also direct mandates investing in ASEAN countries. Our unique and core expertise lies in our strong on-the-ground presence in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia that focuses on Asian investments. Indonesia, which is our latest addition to the asset management family, presents an enormous potential given it is the largest Muslim country and home to 12.7% of the world's Muslims.”
Mr. Azmeen continues: “In view of the current development and sophistication of the Islamic finance industry, we have embedded a stringent and thorough Shariah screening into our investment process. In compliance with the global Shariah equity investment, the screening methodology adopts a two-tier approach to the quantitative assessment, which applies the business activity benchmarks and the newly-introduced financial ratio benchmarks while at the same time maintaining the qualitative assessment. With this internationalisation of the Shariah screening methodology, the competitiveness of the Islamic fund management industry is further enhanced, and we do expect a spur of Islamic fund inflows in the region”.