Widodo launches Indonesia’s largest Islamic bank

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Jakarta

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has launched Bank Syariah Indonesia (BSI), the country’s largest sharia bank.

The bank is the result of the merger of three state-owned Islamic banks – PT Bank BRIsyariah Tbk, PT Bank Syariah Mandiri, and PT Bank BNI Syariah. The president expected the merger would support Indonesia’s goal to become the Islamic financial hub. He also hoped the bank to be inclusive and digital-savvy to attract youth and expand banking penetration.

The President said there was still much space to optimize the sharia economy and finance in Indonesia.“We strengthen the sharia financial industry by building one of the largest sharia banks in Indonesia. We have set a target and inshallah in February we will complete it,” said the President earlier during the press conference on Jan 25 in Jkarta. Earlier, the head of the PMO Merger Bank Syariah, Hery Gunardi, said during an event on Jan 19 the operations of Bank Syariah Indonesia was waiting for an official permit from the Financial Services Agency (OJK). Indonesia hosts about 229 million Muslims, the world’s largest Muslim population, about 87 percent of its total population.—Xinhua