Bahrain’s Elaf Bank gets licence for Islamic banking biz in Malaysia

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KUALA LUPUR: Bahrain’s Elaf Bank B.S.C. has received the Malaysian government’s approval to carry out international Islamic banking business in Malaysia under the Islamic Banking Act 1983.

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said on Wednesday, June 15 the Minister of Finance had granted an approval to Elaf Bank. “Elaf Bank is allowed to conduct a wide array of Islamic banking business in international currencies other than Malaysian ringgit,” it said.

BNM said Elaf Bank’s presence would further strengthen the economic and financial linkages between Malaysia and Bahrain and enhance the development of the Islamic financial system in Malaysia.

According to Elaf Bank’s website, it is a closed shareholding company incorporated in the Bahrain and operates an Islamic wholesale (investment) bank with a paid-up capital of US$200 million.

The bank provides the full spectrum of wholesale Islamic banking and it is also involved in the development of the Sukuk secondary market where it acts as a market maker.

Elaf Bank’s financial services involve investment banking (fund-raising advisory, mergers and acquisitions and asset management), and treasury and capital markets (liquidity management, foreign exchange, investment, structured products and derivatives).

Elaf Bank said the first branch office will be in Kuala Lumpur and this branch office will be the centre of operations in Southeast Asia, “further extending the activities of the main branch headquartered in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and giving Elaf Bank a competitive edge in both strategic markets”.

It added the opening of the branch office in Malaysia is yet another step towards achieving the bank’s vision to create “virtual corridors” among major Islamic finance hubs.

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