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THE ISLAMIC BANK OF ASIA LAUNCHES ITS FIRST USD LIQUIDITY PRODUCT

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Shariah compliant product will meet demand for transparent, simple and liquid investment tools that offer attractive returns for high net-worth clients

SINGAPORE, 04 May 2009 - The Islamic Bank of Asia announced the launch of USD Islamic Placement, its first liquidity product designed to help customers achieve attractive returns over a short period of time through a Shariah compliant process.

The USD Islamic Placement is similar to a conventional fixed deposit, except it is based on the Shariah principle of Murabaha, i.e., a cost plus profit sale contract.  The USD Islamic Placement has a minimum placement amount of USD 500,000 and has tenors of either three months or six months.

The USD Islamic Placement’s competitive rates of return will be pitched slightly higher than those of most conventional fixed deposits; it also qualifies for the Singapore government’s guarantee for local and foreign currency deposits until 31 December 2010. The product’s offer period is for up to 1 month beginning 4 May 2009, and is jointly distributed by The Islamic Bank of Asia and DBS Bank’s Private Banking division. DBS Trustee has been appointed as the agent to act on behalf of the customers in the Murabaha transactions.

Vince Cook, CEO of The Islamic Bank of Asia, said that the USD Islamic Placement product will give customers the opportunity to participate in the growing phenomenon that is Islamic banking, and help pave the way for the development of more Islamic wealth management products for Singapore.

Mr Cook said: “The Islamic Bank of Asia offers world-class financing based on investment solutions that are in harmony with Shariah principals. It is an attractive alternative to investors who wish to diversify their portfolios, regardless of whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims. The USD Islamic Placement will help familiarise people with the attractions of Shariah compliant products and create greater acceptance of Islamic banking in the marketplace."   

Alkhafidz Md Som, The Islamic Bank of Asia’s Vice President of Product Development , said that the launch of the USD Islamic Placement marks the Bank’s entry into the wealth management space: “In light of the unprecedented events in the global marketplace, high net-worth clients are going back to basics, looking for investment options that are transparent, prudent, easy to understand, offer competitive returns and are highly liquid, and we have developed a product that meets those requirements.” 

Growing from strength to strength in its second year

Established in May 2007 and headquartered in Singapore, The Islamic Bank of Asia is a joint venture between DBS Bank, one of the largest financial services groups in Asia, and 33 investors from prominent families and industrial groups based in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The Bank became profitable shortly after its launch, focusing on growing in the wholesale financing markets and developing a platform of financing structures that includes trade finance and large-scale syndications. During its first anniversary, The Islamic Bank of Asia opened a representative office in Bahrain. In January 2009, the Bank has also played a significant role in the development of Islamic finance in Singapore by being one of the two lead arrangers of the country’s first sovereign-rated sukuk, a SGD 200 million Sukuk Al-Ijara Trust Certificate Issuance Programme launched by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

About The Islamic Bank of Asia
Incorporated in May 2007 with DBS Bank and prominent investors from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries as shareholders, The Islamic Bank of Asia (IB Asia) combines banking expertise and insights of Asia with strong Islamic banking credentials to tap into opportunities within Asia and the Middle East. Headquartered in Singapore, IB Asia focuses on commercial banking, corporate finance, capital market and wealth management services. To find out more about IB Asia, log on to www.islamicbankasia.com.

About DBS
DBS is one of the largest financial services groups in Asia with operations in 16 markets. Headquartered in Singapore, DBS is a well-capitalised bank with "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings that are among the highest in the Asia-Pacific region.

As a bank that specialises in Asia, DBS leverages its deep understanding of the region, local culture and insights to serve and build lasting relationships with its clients. DBS provides the full range of services in corporate, SME, consumer and wholesale banking activities across Asia and the Middle East. The bank is committed to expanding its pan- Asia franchise by leveraging its growing presence in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan to intermediate the increasing trade and investment flows between these markets. Likewise, DBS is focused on extending its end-to-end services to facilitate capital within fast-growing countries in Indonesia and India.

DBS acknowledges the passion, commitment and can-do spirit in each of its 15,000 staff, representing over 30 nationalities. For more information, please visit www.dbs.com.

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