Malaysia eyes sukuk ties with Qatar

Plans are in the pipeline to invite the Qatar Financial Centre and Qatar-based Islamic banks to visit Malaysia and explore avenues for partnerships in the sukuk market.

  
A Malaysian investor monitors share market prices in Kuala Lumpur October 9, 2008. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad

A Malaysian investor monitors share market prices in Kuala Lumpur October 9, 2008. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad

REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad
25 October 2016
By Peter Alagos

Plans are in the pipeline to invite the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) and Qatar-based Islamic banks to visit Malaysia and explore avenues for partnerships in the sukuk market, a high ranking Malaysian official has said.

Malaysia represents 60% of the global sukuk industry, according to its Minister of International Trade and Industry, Mustapa Mohamed, who underscored the importance of promoting its sukuk market to Qatar.

“I am suggesting to my people to come here and promote Malaysia’s sukuk industry, and we will invite Qataris and firms such as the Qatar Financial Centre and other Islamic banks to visit Malaysia and understand the regulations and issue,” he told reporters yesterday.

This was echoed by Malaysian ambassador Ahmad Jazri Mohamed Johar, who said: “Since we are the biggest Islamic issuers in the world, and Qatar is the second now, we look forward to more collaboration and more cooperation and see what other things we can do better in the near future.

“We believe Malaysia has all the essentials to make our Islamic banking services more lucrative and attractive to all the markets in the world. And we are looking forward to having Qataris to come and benefit from these services.”

The ambassador also said the central banks of the two countries had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the training of Qatar-based Islamic finance operators in Malaysia.

The minister was in Qatar yesterday for a brief visit and met with major Malaysian companies, including engineering and construction company, WCT Group, which secured a $323mn contract from Qatar-based Lusail Real Estate Development Company to build roads, five stations for the Lusail Light Rail Transit, and two underground carparks. He also witnessed the signing of an MoU between Masskar Hypermarket and Infinity Channel, which will supply the Qatar market with “fast selling” items from Malaysia such as food stuff, seafood, and fruits. The minister also met with Malaysian professionals working in the fields of engineering, oil and gas, aviation, IT, and airport facilities management.

Asked about initiatives to enhance trade between Qatar and Malaysia, the minister said: “The Qatar economy is growing although oil prices are low but there is continuous growth potential in many sectors. 

“We have a number of Malaysian companies here that would want to do more business in the fields of construction, services, consultancy, IT, and engineering. I think there is a lot of potential here, and, at the same time, we want more Qataris to come to Malaysia and invest in services as well,” Mohamed told Gulf Times.

Johar added that the minister’s visit also aims to enhance bilateral relations between Qatar and Malaysia, whose trade volume stood at around $1bn in 2015.

© Gulf Times 2016


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