KUALA LUMPUR: Hong Leong Islamic Bank Bhd (HLISB) has appointed Hijah Arifakh Othman as its new managing director.
In a statement on Thursday, April 15, HLISB said she is a highly experienced banker of over 25 years specialising in treasury, dept capital markets and balance sheet management.
Hijah forged her early career with Bank Negara Malaysia where she spent 16 years in several key departments, including the regulation department, treasury and banking department.
She was also part of the pioneer team that set up Danamodal Nasional Bhd, the recapitalisation agency, as the head of treasury.
She was also notably with Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia as the director of Asian fixed income Malaysia from 2000-2005. She later moved to Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) as the head of group treasury until 2009.
Hijah would spearhead the development and growth of Islamic financial services provided by HLISB to its retail and wholesale banking customers.
It said she would be focused on providing total solutions to its customers in the areas of investment banking, corporate and commercial and consumer finance, apart from supervising its syariah unit and oversee all syariah-based aspects of the Hong Leong Bank group.
Hijah will also play the key role of building and galvanising the group's Islamic financial services franchise as a regional one as well as to create value out of cross-border transactions via Islamic instruments for the group and its customers.
The focus areas will be on Islamic asset management, Islamic investment banking and wholesale banking, Islamic treasury, Islamic wealth management and takaful.
HLISB said Hijah would work on executing the strategic direction for the global business thrust for the group, riding on the comparative advantages and regimes between Malaysia (including International Currency Business Unit), Singapore and Hong Kong to integrate and deliver on the business opportunities on a global basis.
"With an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the Islamic financial services industry and her key involvement in the Malaysian financial market space, she will definitely play a pivotal role in driving key initiatives within the bank," said Hong Leong Bank managing director Yvonne Chia.
Hijah said: "I will work towards building HLISB to become an integral part of the Islamic finance community in driving Malaysia's Islamic finance industry, which is in line with the government's vision to make Malaysia an International Islamic centre. At the same time we strive to become a leading Islamic bank in Malaysia and the region," she said.