Maybank Islamic Berhad wants to create a link between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Asean after it starts operations in Dubai branch this year, The Star reports. The bank aims to link up both sides for the sake of developing the islamic banking sector.

Maybank Islamic Berhad is the largest islamic bank by asset in Asean.

Chief executive officer Datuk Mohamed Rafique Merican said that the company would play an active role in boosting trade, in addition to flow of funds between the two regions.

“For instance, Malaysia purchases oil and gas or other products from GCC and vice versa.

“With that, we can increase the trade flows not only between the two countries, but also between the regions,” he said.

Maybank Islamic Berhad has a strong presence in Islamic finance in  Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. Last year, it announced that it might receive regulatory approvals to establish its Dubai branch in the first half of 2019.

“For a developed nation like Singapore, where there is no huge demand for new infrastructure or public transport, the growth rate (usually) would be slower, or grow in tandem with the country’s GDP (gross domestic product).

“Whereas in countries like Indonesia, where there is still much more to be done, the Islamic financing might grow by 1.5 times or a multiple more than that of GDP growth, as the country still needs to invest in its infrastructure or housing projects,” he said.

Maybank Islamic Berhad  will continue to look for more opportunities to arrange for sukuk, in Malaysia, or in ASEAN.