KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 (Bernama) — Asia Pacific Investment Bank (APIB), an offshore Islamic investment bank, was established in January 2015 with the approval of Labuan Financial Services Authority. It aims to cooperate with domestic financial institutions to promote the internationalization of the Islamic finance industry.
Chris Wang, CEO of APIB, is confident that APIB can be the bridge that connects Malaysia and China.
“Being an offshore Islamic bank with a Chinese background, we are confident in contributing to the bilateral integration of Malaysia’s and the entire Islamic world, with the participation of China projects and investors.”
In light of the US-China trade war and the Covid-19 pandemic, the Malaysian government is facing a critical challenge in leveraging on the country’s unique position by implementing a new round of economic stimulus package to revitalize its economy.
Wang believes that APIB can help the government achieve this 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 revitalize the development of Malaysia’s economy and financial industry.”
Wang says that Islamic finance is indispensable in the global financial market, especially against the backdrop of the South-South cooperation, an initiative under the United Nation that China is involved in. Meanwhile, Islamic green financing is also an important service that can help financial institutions adjust their balance sheets and optimize their economic capital to meet the requirements of the Basel III Accord.
Wang says Malaysia is one of the global Islamic financial centers, especially in the issuance and trading of Islamic bonds known as Sukuk. In 2019 and the first half of 2020, Malaysia issued a total of RM232.2 billion and RM114.07 billion worth of Sukuk respectively. This accounts for 43% and 42% of the global Sukuk issuance respectively.
However, Islamic finance still has room for growth as 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, 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 currently registered and headquartered in the Federal Territory of Labuan, Malaysia. Its main operating office is based in Kuala Lumpur with representative offices in Shanghai and Nanjing, China.