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Amanah Raya Spearheads Malaysia's Islamic Finance Cooperation with CIS Countries

01.02.2011

Malaysia's state-owned trustee company, Amanah Raya Berhad, is spearheading several investment and cooperation initiatives in the Islamic finance space in the CIS countries including the Republic of Tatarstan in Russia and Kazakhstan.
Amanah Raya Spearheads Malaysia's Islamic Finance Cooperation with CIS Countries
Malaysia's state-owned trustee company, Amanah Raya Berhad, is spearheading several investment and cooperation initiatives in the Islamic finance space in the CIS countries including the Republic of Tatarstan in Russia and Kazakhstan.

During the visit of President Rustam Minnikhanov of Tatarstan to Malaysia in December 2010, Amanah Raya signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Tatarstan Government, the Kazan-based IFC Linova and Kuwait Finance House Malaysia (KFH Malaysia) whereby the parties would cooperate in facilitating the issuance of a debut sovereign Sukuk by Tatarstan.

Amanah Raya Investment Bank, a subsidiary of Amanah Raya Berhad Group, is working with KFH Malaysia and IFC Linova on a feasibility study on Sukuk origination in Tatarstan including issues relating to legislation, regulation, tax neutrality, structure, and potential asset pools available for securitisation.

Tatarstan is the most proactive Russian republic in promoting Islamic finance and has a close working relationship with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, which last year set up a joint venture Islamic finance company in Kazan with a government-owned entity. One sector which holds good bilateral investment and cooperation opportunities is halal business activities including halal food, Islamic financial institutions such as banks, leasing companies and asset management companies.

The CIS has a combined Muslim population in excess of 150 million but it is under-served by the halal products and services. Malaysia has one of the best developed halal food and business economies in the world. Not surprisingly, Amanah Raya has considered the potential for this sector in the CIS and is the lead investor in Baltach, the first Halal industrial park in Russia which was launched in November 2010 and is based in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan. Baltach will house small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) involved in the halal processing of agricultural, livestock and meat products, grown and reared by surrounding local farmers. Amanah Raya's main partner in Baltach is IFC Linova. The initial investment in the project is 150 million rubles which will be managed by a holding company, NHIDC.

In Kazakhstan, Amanah Raya has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Fattah Finance, a local Kazakh brokerage company, and the state-owned Development Bank of Kazakhstan to conduct a feasibility study to establish the second Islamic bank in the country. Under the agreement, the parties will set up a joint-venture with Amanah Raya owning 55 per cent of the equity, DBK 40 per cent and Fattah Finance the remaining 5 per cent, which would submit an application for an Islamic banking licence during 2011. Another project that the joint venture is interested in launching is a Haj Fund for Kazakhstan.

Amanah Raya Berhad is Malaysia's prominent trustee company providing both conventional and Islamic trust, legacy management and will services. It was established as the Department of Public Trustee and Official Administrator on 1 May 1921, and corporatised as a trustee company on 29 May 1995 under the name Amanah Raya Berhad. It is wholly state-owned with 99.99 per cent held by the Minister of Finance Inc and 0.01 per cent by the Federal Commissioner of Lands.

Source: mifc.com

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Malaysia's fast-growing Islamic finance sector benefits not only the Muslim world but also non-Muslim countries, said former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

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