Maybank Islamic Berhad has officially opened its first overseas branch in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). -NSTP/File pic

DUBAI: Maybank Islamic Berhad has officially opened its first overseas branch in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), offering wholesale banking services and facilities, with emphasis in corporate financing, treasury, and capital market and trade finance.

According to Maybank Islamic’s CEO Datuk Mohamad Rafique Marican, the move would facilitate the bank’s expansion into the region, as DIFC had established a highly-developed and dynamic financial ecosystem, and offers a ready platform to reach a Muslim population of more than 3 billion people in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA).

Rafique said the DIFC branch was a significant milestone for Maybank Islamic, as it not only marks its first overseas branch but also Malaysia’s first Islamic bank to have a presence outside local shores.

“With Dubai being a leading Islamic economic centre, it was timely for Maybank Islamic to set up base here to tap into the increasing demand for financing in the global halal economy and becomes a link between the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) and the Asean community,“ he said, at the official launch of the Maybank Islamic’s Dubai office here earlier today (Dubai time).

The regional office is headed by its country manager Nik Joharris Nik Ahmad, who has over 20 years experience in the financial services industry, having worked in Kuwait, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia - apart from Malaysia – particularly in Islamic corporate debt financing.

Maybank Islamic offers a range of Islamic financial products and services across 354 Maybank touch points in Malaysia, as well as international operations in international operations in Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, Labuan, and Dubai.

As of Sept 30, 2019, its total assets stood more than US$57.35 billion (RM273.53 billion), a growth of 7 per cent year-on-year.

Established in 2004, the DIFC has grown to become a leading financial hub for the MEASA markets. The centre connects these fast-growing markets with economies of Asia, Europe and Americas through Dubai.