US crisis to hit, not crush, sharia market: Affin

* US financial meltdown to hit sharia finance market
* Upbeat on Malaysian Islamic property and bond markets
* Working on about US$289 million of property projects

Sharia banks have so far been relatively unscathed by the turmoil on Wall Street, which industry experts attribute to the sector’s strict requirements of transparency and for transactions to be underpinned by specific assets.

A growing number of bankers warn that the US$1 trillion Islamic industry will suffer as lenders turn off the tap and investors turn cautious. But certain parts of the sector are likely to remain healthy.’There will always be pockets of opportunities,’ Kamarul Ariffin, chief executive of Malaysia’s Affin Islamic Bank said in an interview.

Affin Islamic is the sharia banking arm of Affin Bank, a subsidiary of Malaysian lending group Affin Holdings .

The bank – which is Malaysia’s ninth-largest sharia lender by assets – sees opportunities in the domestic property market.

‘People always say location is the key thing in property,’ Mr Kamarul said.








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