ISLAMIC BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Indonesia

More sharia banks planned in Indonesia

Several banks expressed interest in establishing sharia banks in Indonesia.



According to Bank Indonesia director for sharia banking Mulya Siregar, the list includes Bank Kesawan, which has just recently been acquired by Qatar National Bank; Malaysia’s Affin Bank Bhd., which owns Bank Ina Perdana Indonesia; and Bank Sinarmas.

“[Affin Bank] hinted last year that they wanted to buy a bank in Indonesia and convert it to a sharia bank, but the deal is not yet done… Sinarmas is planning to spin off its sharia unit in 2012. They have come, expressed their interest and presented their plans, but we have not received any formal letters,” he said.

“Qatar wants to convert Bank Kesawan but it’s just a plan. There has not been any formal letters from them.”

At present, the sharia banking sector comprises 11 sharia banks, 23 sharia units, 151 sharia people’s credit banks with 3,321 offices and more than 13,000 ATMs.

Despite the faster growth of sharia banks compared to commercial banks, the sharia banking sector accounts for just 3.28 percent of all banking assets in the country.

Mulya said the central bank and the government were studying tax incentives for sharia banking to boost the industry’s growth.

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