KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 — Asia Pacific Investment Bank (APIB) aims to cooperate with domestic financial institutions to promote the internationalisation of the Islamic finance industry.
APIB chief executive officer Chris Wang is confident that APIB could be the bridge that connects Malaysia and China.
“Being an offshore Islamic bank with a Chinese background, we are confident of contributing to the bilateral integration of Malaysia’s and the entire Islamic world, with the participation of China’s projects and investors,” he said in a statement today.
In light of the US-China trade war and the Covid-19 pandemic, the government is facing a critical challenge in leveraging the country’s unique position by implementing a new round of economic stimulus package to revitalise its economy.
Hence, Wang said APIB could help the government achieve the goal by making the country’s Islamic finance industry more dynamic.
“Islamic finance does not need to be a closed system. It can be developed into an open and dynamic financial market.
“In view of this, we believe that the emergence of foreign Islamic investment banks such as APIB will be another strong engine to revitalise the development of Malaysia’s economy and financial industry,” he added.
Wang said Islamic finance is indispensable in the global financial market, especially against the backdrop of the South-South cooperation, an initiative under the United Nations that China is involved in.
Meanwhile, Islamic green financing is also an important service that could help financial institutions adjust their balance sheets and optimise their economic capital to meet the requirements of the Basel III Accord.
“Malaysia is one of the global Islamic financial centres, especially in the issuance and trading of Islamic bonds known as Sukuk.
“In 2019 and the first half of 2020, Malaysia issued RM232.2 billion and RM114.07 billion worth of Sukuk, respectively. This accounts for 43 per cent and 42 per cent of the global Sukuk issuances, respectively,” Wang said.
However, Islamic finance still has room for growth compared to the global financial market as its activities have been largely confined within Islamic countries.
This greatly restricts the innovation and large-scale development of the financial industry in the Islamic world.
For this reason, he said APIB was established in the Labuan International Business and Financial Centre with the aim of becoming an innovative offshore Islamic investment bank.
In June 2019, APIB obtained the approval to have its Islamic window operation and it was allowed to operate the digital finance business two months later.
At present, APIB’s businesses include bond underwriting, trade financing, asset management, wealth management and Islamic financing.
The key industries APIB is servicing include digital finance, infrastructure construction, environmental, mining chemical, high-end manufacturing, cultural tourism, healthcare, and commodity trading.
APIB is an offshore Islamic investment bank, established in January 2015 with the approval of the Labuan Financial Services Authority, headquartered in Labuan and its main operating office based in Kuala Lumpur, with representative offices in Shanghai and Nanjing, China. — Bernama