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Bank Islam Aims to Disburse Major Portion of RM1 billion Overseas Project Fund by Bank Negara

KUALA LUMPUR: Tuesday [30 October, 2007] – Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad (Bank Islam) aims to disburse a significant portion of Bank Negara Malaysia’s RM1.0 billion Overseas Project Fund under its financing activities to support its customers’ expansion overseas.

For the current financial year, Bank Islam hopes to receive applications worth RM250 million from Malaysian companies, especially small and medium sized enterprises, who are pursuing opportunities overseas.

The agreement which enables Bank Islam to play this role was signed today between the Bank and the Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Berhad (EXIM Bank), which is managing the Overseas Project Fund.

Under the EXIM Overseas Guarantee Facility (EOGF) agreement, EXIM Bank will provide guarantees up to 80% of the financing extended by Bank Islam to eligible customers.

Bank Islam’s Managing Director Dato’ Zukri Samat signed for the Bank while EXIM Bank was represented by its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Kamal Mohd Ali.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dato’ Zukri said: “Through the EOGF, we will be one of the agents to help spur corporate Malaysia’s increased participation in the global market, in particular export of Malaysian professional services in technology, project consultancy as well as the engineering services sectors.

“This facility fills a gap in the Bank’s existing range of products and services. We will play a more effective role in supporting the growth of our customers, be they entrepreneurs or corporations,” he added.

He said Bank Islam as Malaysia’s pioneer Islamic financial institution had initially concentrated on catering to Shariah compliant financing needs of individuals. This was subsequently expanded to meet the needs of businesses by providing Shariah-based and Shariah-compliant financing products mostly to meet domestic business activities.

“However, many of our customers are now pursuing opportunities in an increasingly globalised economy. We also see many Malaysian companies exporting their products and expertise. As a leader in Islamic banking and financial services, Bank Islam must continue to play our role to support and facilitate the growth of our current and new customers as they move into the global arena. This EOGF is therefore, most timely,” he added.

With the EOGF in place, Bank Islam is ready to finance up to 90 per cent of the contract value in Ringgit and major currencies such as the US Dollar, Pound Sterling, EURO and Japanese Yen with a tenure of up to 10 years. The maximum financing per application is RM100 million or equivalent. The financing rate is competitive, at effective cost of funds plus a maximum spread of 1.0% per annum.

The EOGF will be available to all Malaysian owned or controlled companies, which are negotiating, bidding or have secured contracts or projects overseas. The facility is open to all economic sectors except privatisation and concession type of contracts.

Interested parties may contact the Bank or its 90 branches nationwide for further information regarding this latest financing product. Details of the EOGF will also be available on the Bank’s website

The EOGF is also in line with the Bank’s recent re-branding exercise to add a global dimension to Bank Islam’s brand equity and to enhance the Bank’s visibility domestically and abroad.

About a month ago, Bank Islam signed a strategic collaboration with the European Islamic Investment Bank (EIIB) to jointly develop a range of new Islamic-based products and to share technical expertise and knowledge.
The collaboration with EIIB will give Bank Islam a brand presence in the UK and Europe immediately, translating the Bank’s “go global” strategy into reality.

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