Q&A with Bank Muamalat: Exponential Potential

Islamic finance has great opportunities to gain market share, says Endy Abdurrahman, CEO of Bank Muamalat Indonesia.

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Global Finance: What underpinned Bank Muamalat’s growth in 2016 and what is the potential for Islamic finance in Indonesia?

Endy Abdurrahman: Bank Muamalat is a leader in sharia banking in Indonesia, and our 2016 growth was driven by financing to the consumer sector, especially on the innovative mortgage financing front, while investment and working capital facilities provided to government infrastructure and green banking projects drove corporate financing. Eighty-seven percent of the 236 million inhabitants of Indonesia are Muslim, which naturally presents remarkable opportunity for exponential growth, especially considering the current Islamic banking [market] share of only 5.3%. The latest demonstration of government support for the industry in Indonesia is the creation of the National Committee of Sharia Finance (KNKS) as an umbrella for effective coordination and synergy among all stakeholders in the regulatory and private sectors.

GF: What are the bank’s competitive advantages?

Abdurrahman: Our key competitive advantages include Bank Muamalat’s right to provide a full suite of Islamic banking products, fast and standardized service level agreement, wide network in all provinces in Indonesia, digital banking penetration to the productive-age population and excellent service in every Bank Muamalat outlet.

GF: What is Bank Muamalat’s strategy over the next year or two?

Abdurrahman: Our strategy includes further growth earmarked for the retail financing sector in its drive to contribute to 60% of the bank’s total financing. Corporate financing will focus on [state-owned enterprises] and being capital efficient by disbursing financing to sectors with efficient risk weighted assets.