RATIONALE: 12TH ANNUAL ISLAMIC FINANCE AWARDS 2020

Here is the updated awards rationale for the 12th Annual Alpha Southeast Asia Islamic Finance Awards 2020 for the following 14 awards categories.

We have over the last decade continued to refine and develop a unique, fair, robust and informative methodology and by adding a number of new criterions to existing awards, we have broadened the depth of our awards and tightened its eligibility among leading banks in Southeast Asia. Going forward, the role of Islamic finance will become a key factor as part of the awards evaluation process.

 

  1. Best Islamic Finance SME Bank: AmBank Islamic

As one of the leading Islamic banks in the country, AmBank Islamic is continuing to ride a wave of growth thanks to its sprawling domestic branch network and proactive relationship management skills with the country’s growing number of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs). While most banks are product-focused and operate with silos concerned about their own contribution to the bank’s overall bottom line, AmBank Islamic is today one of the most fast-moving, dynamic banks in Malaysia, in spite of its size. As one of the most versatile banks in terms of financing, assets and deposits, AmBank Islamic is acutely aware of its strengths and has ingeniously channelled the right amount of resources towards helping SMEs expand overseas and gradually make a name for itself in this niche segment.

 

  1. Best Islamic Finance Bank: Maybank Islamic

Maybank is one of Malaysia’s leading, most agile banks catering to both retail depositors seeking shariah-compliant products and shariah-conscious corporates in Malaysia, and overseas. As part of the Maybank Group, Maybank Islamic is able to leverage on a network of products and services across the bank and offer its clients a whole spectrum of solutions ranging across asset classes, all under one roof. As the leading player in this fiercely competitive Islamic finance space, Maybank Islamic offers shariah-compliant options to Muslim clients who wish to conform to shariah principles, making Maybank Islamic the unequivocal Islamic Finance Bank in Malaysia.

 

  1. Best Islamic Finance Sukuk House: CIMB
  2. Best Islamic Finance Retail Bank: CIMB

As the most prominent Islamic Finance powerhouse in the Asian region, CIMB Islamic is the most comprehensive shariah-compliant financial solutions provider across divergent asset classes ranging from sukuk funding to retail banking. By emphasizing on the provisioning of an enterprise-wide shariah-compliant framework instead of only at the product level, CIMB Islamic is widely known for its unrivalled knowledge depth in terms of shariah-compliant structures, innovation and pioneering quick thinking, making CIMB Islamic the unrivalled Best Islamic Finance Sukuk House and Best Islamic Finance Retail Bank in Malaysia.

 

  1. Best Islamic Finance Wealth Management Bank: MBSB Bank

As a leading Islamic bank in the country, MBSB has a wide range of shariah-compliant products including Trade Financing , Equipment Financing, SME Financing, Wealth Management and Takaful. Within the personal financing realm, MBSB has an enviable market share of 12.59 percent, accounting for almost 13 percent of total industry outstanding financing. In particular, the bank has made key inroads into equipment financing and in recent years has continued to strengthen the breadth and depth of its unique wealth management offerings covering Takaful, will writing, medical and health planning as well as investment-linked family takaful plan, among a wide ranging list of shariah compliant options, making MBSB a preferred choice among locals from varying background, and thus the Best Islamic Finance Wealth Management Bank in Malaysia.

 

  1. Best FX Bank for Corporate Islamic Treasury: RHB Islamic

Despite challenging market conditions, RHB has continued to outperform its peers, some with sizeable balance sheets. For a top-tier FX bank in Malaysia, RHB’s FX and derivative sales and trading income has continue to rise in recent years. The Treasury & Global Markets division at RHB Bank also has one of the highest productivity per employee, an indication of how well it optimises its enlarging platform while managing its cost base. In the shariah compliant space, RHB excels unlike another and is able to offer wide ranging corporate Islamic treasury solutions, for divergent types of businesses, large and small. From Islamic structured investment products to Islamic hedging solutions involving an Islamic Profit Rate Swap or Cross Currency Swap let alone a menu of Islamic treasury solutions, RHB truly pioneers, making the bank the Best FX Bank for Corporate Islamic Treasury.

 

  1. Best Islamic Asset & Fund Manager: BIMB Investment Management

Uniquely structured among its peers, BIMB Investment Management is a leading asset manager in Malaysia. Despite challenging market conditions in recent years, BIMB has recorded a staggering average AUM (CAGR) growth, a fair indication of investor confidence in a fiercely competitive Islamic funds management industry, independently managed with international standards. While markets in Malaysia have seen huge swings in recent years from the mutual funds pull-out to pension reforms to regulatory overhaul, BIMB has outperformed many of its peers in terms of fund performance, demonstrating consistency let alone in-depth understanding of volatile market moving dynamics.

 

  1. Best Islamic Finance Retail Bank: BNI Syariah
  2. Best FX Bank for Corporate Islamic Treasury: BNI Syariah

BNI Syariah is growing from strength to strength. The bank has one of the strongest shariah-compliant SME platforms in the country. Apart from the normal range of credit products developed specifically for SMEs, BNI Syariah provides wide ranging advisory services on business opportunities and trade reports for its borrowing and non-borrowing customers. At present, it also offers wide ranging lending services to a large number of SME businesses in the country. Therefore, the awards Best Islamic Finance Retail Bank and Best FX Bank for Corporate Islamic Treasury in Indonesia goes to BNI Syariah, for its focused and unrivalled commitment to these separate respective segments.

 

  1. Best Islamic Finance Bank: Bank Syariah Mandiri
  2. Best Islamic Finance SME Bank: Bank Syariah Mandiri

Established at a time when the credit fundamentals at most conventional Indonesian banks were in tatters, Bank Syariah Mandiri (BSM) is one of Indonesia’s timeless example of a true phoenix from the ashes of the 1997-1999 Asian crisis. In two decades BSM has come to become the dominant force in shariah-compliant retail solutions in Indonesia. The bank has an independent shariah board of advisers and is helmed by skilled professionals well-versed with the intricacies of the dual banking system under the purview of OJK (Financial Services Authority). While most banks are reporting stagnant growth rates, profit for the latest financial year (net income) remains up year-on-year while total assets at the bank has proportionally grown too, making Bank Syariah Mandiri the Best Islamic Finance Bank and Best Islamic Finance SME Bank in Indonesia.

 

  1. Best Islamic Finance Sukuk House: Mandiri Sekuritas

As the largest investment bank with the most illustrious history, Mandiri Sekuritas is a one-stop powerhouse for both conventional and Islamic financing. The leading securities house has over the years won multiple recognition for its shariah-compliant offerings spanning across equity and debt. Mandiri Sekuritas has also completed the largest number of shariah-compliant equity deals, acting at the forefront of such deals for some of the largest shariah-compliant IPO transactions, certified by OJK (Financial Services Authority) and thus listed on the country’s growing Index Saham Syariah Indonesia (ISSI), at the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX). On the debt front, Mandiri Sekuritas not only underwrites shariah-compliant local rupiah but has over the last decade took part in several high profile international USD Global Sukuks.

 

  1. Best Islamic Wealth Management Bank: Bank Muamalat Indonesia

Wealth management in Indonesia may mean different things to different people. To just over dozen-odd local Indonesian banks offering wealth management services in the country, their definition of wealth management could be as just as divergent and broad. Wealth management to some banks could simply mean priority banking where one never has to stand in a queue to investing in a divergent range of investment products, based on a sophisticated risk/reward profile that can help generate the highest return for the client. This however does not mean Indonesia is an undeveloped market. Bank Muamalat Indonesia is one such bank that is at the forefront, in part thanks to its sole commitment to Islamic finance, the size of its total assets, balance sheet strength and consistent and professional service.

 

  1. Best Islamic Asset & Fund Manager: Bahana TCW Investment Management

As one of the largest, most innovative asset managers in the country, Bahana TCW Investment Management is a leading emerging fund house in Indonesia, especially given the fast changing landscape in the fund management industry in the country today. By leveraging on its multi-local strategy, Bahana TCW Investment Management has helped numerous retail and institutional investors create a well-diversified investment portfolio for themselves. As one of the few fund management companies with an unrivalled local footprint and reach, Bahana TCW Investment Management is able to provide unique insights to its local clients by bring its wealth of expertise and knowledge about investment opportunities unlike another, thanks in large part to its highly qualified well integrated investment team.