PNB mulls introduction of Islamic shares for Maybank

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Kuala Lumpur

Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) said it is in the midst of studying a potential issuance of Islamic shares (i-shares) by Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), which will be linked to the Islamic banking business of the banking group.
PNB group chairman Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar said currently about 25% of the Maybank group’s earnings come from the syariah-compliant businesses, and proposed that 20% of the group’s shares can be designated as i-shares. “It is not an option for Maybank, or for that matter any of the other banking groups like CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and RHB Bank Bhd to carve out and list their Islamic businesses separately.
“The question that we asked ourselves was that, what if we could come up with a ring-fencing mechanism whereby the profits coming from the syariah-compliant activities are funnelled into and used to pay a portion of the dividends for the i-shares?” Abdul Wahid told the media yesterday.
He added that this would be similar to Public Bank Bhd’s separate quotations for its local and foreign shares, also known as the PBB “L” and PBB “F” shares, back in 1989. However, the shares have since been merged to trade under one counter in 2014.
The move to list i-shares would provide an extra boost to the Malaysian Islamic capital market, said Abdul Wahid, adding that there are currently only two listed syariah-compliant financial institutions in Malaysia — BIMB Holdings Bhd and Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd.—Agencies