Labuan’s growth credited to Islamic Finance, among others

The performance of Labuan Financial Services Authority (Labuan FSA) is expected to grow in 2013 due to continuation in the growth trajectory across key business sectors.

According to Bernama, Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said the growth would be underpinned by businesses including leasing activities, foundations, insurance and Islamic finance.

She said the growth would seen in all segments in the Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (Labuan IBFC).

Many of these activities evolve because of the investment activities going on in the Asian region including in infrastructure, aviation as well as oil and gas.

“These industries are experiencing solid growth and as a result, Labuan has benefitted from this,” Zeti told a media conference on Labuan FSA Annual Report 2012.

The Labuan IBFC is home to 59 banks, 203 insurance and insurance-related companies, 257 leasing companies and 37 trust companies.

In 2012, Labuan foundations increased by 62.5 per cent to 65 foundations from 40 the year before.

During the year, registration of companies in IBFC also recorded a growth of 8.9 per cent or 779 companies, bringing the total number of companies to 9,487 as of December 2012.

Up to May 31, 2013, the number has increased to 9,811, in tandem with the favourable economic growth in Asia, with more than 50 per cent of the Labuan companies originating from this region.

“Labuan, which is strategically located in the centre of Asia, is well-positioned to serve as a gateway for advancing investment activities in the region.

“In 2012, companies that were incorporated in Labuan can now seek listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to tap the growing opportunity in Asia,” said Zeti.

The ratio of gross non-performing loans of Labuan banks improved to 1.3 per cent in 2012 from 1.5 per cent in the previous year.

The industry’s average risk-weighted capital ratio and core capital ratio stood at 20.6 per cent and 20.5 per cent, respectively.

Overall, the banking sector’s asset base grew to US$42.1 billion from US$38.3 billion in 2011.

Correspondingly, loan and advances continued to expand during the year with non-residents nominated the majority of 60.6 per cent of the total loan outstanding.

The Labuan banking sector also posted an increase of 41.2 per cent in its pre-tax profit for 2012.

The total assets for Labuan insurance entities jumped 16 per cent to US$4.2 billion and total gross premium grew to US$1.7 billion, with non-resident business constituting a higher share of 53.9 per cent.

In 2012, two large reinsurance companies relocated their branches to Labuan IBFC from Europe to focus their businesses on the Asia and Oceania region.

Labuan’s leasing business saw 41 new leasing companies approved.

The continued rising demand for leasing facilities, particularly in the oil and gas and aviation sectors had contributed to the expansion in the sector’s cumulative asset leased valued at US$32.4 billion from USD 27.6 billion previously.


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