JEDDAH — Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd (KIB) of Malaysia is looking at key markets outside the country in its bid to create a niche in the corporate banking business.
Kenanga has set the project in motion by planning partnerships in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, and South Korea.
According to Tunku Afwida Malek, CEO of the bank, Kenanga is actively pursuing businesses in Saudi Arabia, Dubai and South Korea.
Kenanga Investment Bank has a financial services unit in Saudi Arabia. "It is a full-fledged broking business and we are going to have a few branches and investment banking activities in Saudi Arabia," Afwida said in information made available to Khaleej Times here. "We are taking a 30 per cent stake in the joint-venture company in Saudi Arabia," she added.
Afwida said that KIB's business operations in Saudi Arabia have huge opportunity to bring more Saudi companies to the stock market as there were about 100 stocks listed on the Saudi Arabian stock exchange. "Sukuk issuance is another lucrative avenue for Kenanga Investment Bank to pursue in Saudi Arabia," she said.
"In terms of corporate finance, we will see a lot more business from Saudi Arabia than Dubai,'' she added.
In Dubai, Kenanga Investment Bank will conduct its business through Mena Financial Group which does asset management, corporate finance and real estate deals.
Afwida said that Kenanga Investment Bank, which has taken a 20 per cent stake in Mena that has four other partners from the Middle East, was looking at conducting equity broking in Dubai and sukuk structures for investors there.
"A lot of companies are going overseas and we are following our clients. And there are a lot more deals overseas than in Malaysia. The more areas you cover, the more business opportunities there will be," she said. "Even though the bread and butter is Malaysia, I think there will be more cross-border moves to broaden deals in the future," she added.