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Malaysian Named First Recipient of Asian Banker Award

Dato’ Noorazman Abdul Aziz, the managing director/CEO of Bank Islam, has been named winner of the first Asian Banker Achievement Award 2005 for Islamic Finance.

The award, whose votes are cast by peers within the banking industry across Asia, is given in recognition of outstanding achievement in the financial services industry.

Noorazman has been credited for taking a ‘bite-the-bullet’ approach with Bank Islam’s non-performing loans and instilling strong risk management practices within the bank, which allowed the bank to start  with a clean slate and pursue new capital raising opportunities.

The Asian Banker is the region’s leading alliance intelligence company committed to promoting institutions in the financial services industry.

“It is a great privilege to receive this award. Bank Islam is encouraged by this recognition made by our peers in the financial industry,” said Noorazman.

“With Bank Islam on the road to recovery, we are touched that some of the world’s best financial service executives sit up and pay attention to us.”

“The global recognition by Asian Banker is also a great honour for Malaysia as the country gears itself towards becoming an Islamic banking hub,” he said.

Noorazman was appointed Bank Islam’s managing director/CEO in April last year. Since his appointment, he has put in place key reforms at the bank, and also pushed through a painful, but much needed strong bad debt provision.
In its financial year ending June 2005, the bank announced a loss of RM480 million on the back of provisions of RM775 million.

He also took several critical measures to clean up Bank Islam, among others, by implementing a robust risk management architecture, reorienting its corporate banking business strategy, forming strategic partnerships, developing fresh financial products and restructuring capital.

The move was instrumental in getting Bank Islam, the country’s oldest Islamic financial institution back on its feet.

Earlier this year, Bank Islam was voted the best provider of Islamic finance in Malaysia, in the inaugural Islamic Finance News’ Best Islamic Banks Poll 2005.

Noorazman served at Citibank, where he worked for over 22 years in various positions and in several countries. He was also the Director General of Labuan Offshore international Financial Centre (LOFSA) and chief operating officer of Bursa Malaysia.

During his time at LOFSA, he was accorded the Honorary Patron of the Offshore Institute – the second person in the world to have received the award at the time.

Former US congressman, Thomas J. Bliley, Jr who is the co-sponsor of the hallmark Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that transformed the financial services industry in the United States will be on hand to give away the award.

The award ceremony will be held during The Asian Banker Summit in Bangkok on March 15, 2006.

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