Elaf Bank forms joint venture with Ohad Trust in Malaysia

Elaf Bank B.S.C. ‘Elaf’, licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain ‘CBB’ to operate as a wholesale Islamic bank, and Ohad Trust B.S.C. ‘Ohad’ — a Fund administration, Custodian and Trust services provider also licensed by the CBB — have formed a joint venture in Labuan, Malaysia.

As a result of this joint venture, the Labuan Financial Services Authorities (LFSA) has granted a ‘trust’ license under the name Ohad Trust (Labuan) Bhd ‘Ohad Labuan’, during a private ceremony held in Malaysia and attended by representatives from all parties to commemorate this event.

The LFSA granted trustee license will allow Ohad Labuan to work on trust, foundations, fund administration, registrar and custody assignments in Malaysia.

Dr. Jamil El Jaroudi, CEO of Elaf Bank, commented on the significance of this joint venture with regards to the Bank’s strategy to generate business opportunities in both markets. “Ever since its inception, Elaf Bank has been actively sourcing and developing business in the two strong and well regulated Islamic Finance hubs, Bahrain and Malaysia.

When we sought a branch office license in Malaysia, it was because we believed that having presence in South East Asia in addition to our headquarters in Bahrain will create more business opportunities, and our belief was right.

Having a branch office in Malaysia has definitely opened more doors not only for our Bank, but also for other Bahrain-based entities, and has allowed us to fulfill our promise to better serve our wide range of Islamic finance client needs in both the GCC and SEA regions.”

Mr. Stefan Cnoops, CEO of Ohad Trust, commenting on the importance of this step, stated: “As the first ever licensed trustee in the Middle East, Ohad Trust has been present in Bahrain since 2005. We are proud to expand our presence and business prospects into South East Asia by obtaining a license in Malaysia.

There can be no doubt that Elaf Bank and Ohad Trust share common objectives and we are very happy to have joined forces through this strategic partnership in such an important market. We are confident Ohad Labuan, which is backed by a comprehensive regulatory framework and legal environment in Malaysia, will be able to capture significant trust related work, particularly in relation to Sukuk.

We are equally confident that Ohad Labuan will become a leader, as it already is in Bahrain, in the administration and custody work of the increasingly important Labuan Islamic Investment Funds market.”

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