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Japan's Mizuho unveils plans to make Malaysia global hub for Islamic finance

(Xinhua)

09:03, September 06, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Japan's third largest bank, Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd (MHCB) announced plans to make Malaysia its global hub for Islamic finance on Monday.

"We regard Malaysia as a critical part of our Asia-focused strategy because it is a strategic hub and gateway to business development in the Asean with its strong infrastructure in Islamic

finance," Chairman of Mizuho Malaysia, Keizo Ohashi said.

"Many Japanese companies have been urging us to set up operations there," he added.

The bank said it had applied for Islamic banking permit from the central bank.

The bank began commercial banking in Malaysia on Monday after receiving a nod from the central bank last June.

Ohashi said its commercial banking license allows the bank to extend full range of financial services to multinational companies seeking to expand their businesses in the country.

He said more than half of the 1,400 Japanese companies operating in Malaysia were Mizuho's clients.

To boost its local banking industry, Malaysia has been issuing banking licenses to at least nine overseas banks, including China' s Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd as the government forecast a six percent economic growth this year.

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