Several banks from the Middle East and Europe are seeking to open branches in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country
CAIRO – Taking a share of the booming Islamic finance industry, Indonesia is becoming a magnet of Shari`ah-compliant assets from all around the globe.
“We are on the lookout for any good Indonesian acquisition, if the price is right,” Mohamed Azahari Kamil, the Kuala Lumpur-based chief executive of Asian Finance Bank Bhd, the Malaysian unit of Qatar Islamic Bank, told the Gulf Times on Thursday, February 9.
“We have to be quick as the Indonesian market is becoming more competitive.”
For instance, Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi Arabia’s largest, is mulling opening new branches in the country.
“The Indonesian market is certainly on our radar,” said Mudassir Amray, the bank’s head of wholesale banking in Kuala Lumpur.
“The size of the Muslim population, the country’s economic growth and investment-grade rating will help in attracting more diversified investors, particularly from the Middle East.”
Several Gulf banks as Qatar Islamic Bank, Kuwait Finance House and Standard Chartered Saadiq also have operations in the country.