Islamic banks merge
By M K Anwar

By command of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the Ministry of Finance yesterday announced the merger of Islamic Bank of Brunei Ltd (IBB) and Islamic Development Bank of Brunei Ltd (IDBB) implemented in accordance with the process of the law and sanction from the High Court.

This came following the announcement made by the Ministry of Finance last July in an effort to further strengthen the Islamic financial institutions in Brunei, in particular the banking sector and insurance, and make it more sustainable and competitive.

Following the merger, His Majesty has consented for the establishment of a new Islamic bank called the Islamic Bank of Brunei Darussalam Ltd (IBBD) that will take over the management, operation and integration of the banks involved in the merger.

This includes taking over of all the present officers and staff including those still on trial in both banks, assets and liabilities as well as their subsidiaries.

A press statement from the Ministry of Finance stated that the merger process would be implemented in stages to ensure continuity and smooth running of operations and tran-sactions without affecting the services offered to customers.

His Majesty has also consented for the appointment of Board of Directors, Syariah Advisory Committee and Managing Director for the new Islamic bank.

YB Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Paduka Hj Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar, Minister of Development, will be the Chairman of the Board of Directors.

YB Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Dewa Major General (Rtd) Dato Seri Pahlawan Hj Mohammad bin Hj Daud, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, will be the Deputy Chairman.

Other members of the Board of Directors include Pehin Dato Paduka Seri Laila Jasa Awang Hj Ahmad Wally Skinner, Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Metussin bin Hj Baki and Awang Hj Bahrin bin Abdullah.

Awang Hj Muhammad Syaippudin bin Hj Abdullah has been appointed as the Managing Director.

The Corporate Secretary for IBBD will be Awang Hj Mohd Rozaiman bin Dato Paduka Hj Abd Rahman.

Meanwhile, members of the Syariah Advisory Committee will be chaired by Pehin Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Awg Hj Salim bin Awg Hj Besar with Pehin Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Awg Hj Suhaili bin Hj Mohiddin, Dato Seri Setia Ustaz Awg Hj Metussin bin Awg Hj Baki and Awg Hj Japar bin Hj Mat Dain @ Maidin as its members.

Awg Hj Mazanan bin Hj Yusof will be the Secretary of the Syariah Advisory Committee.

The appointment of the new members will take effect from today, February 1, for a period of two years.

The merger of the two banks hopefully will contribute greatly towards the strengthening of the nation's economy, especially its financing sector and the Islamic banking, through effective and efficient services and also by venturing into new banking services such as investment banking, fund management, corporate advisory, investment advisory and many more.

The merger further opens the opportunity for the bank to establish its operation internationally.

The press statement also said the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam through the Ministry of Finance will always provide continuing encouragement and support, through continuous monitoring and supervision in strengthening the financial sector in line with the development of international banking sector. The development of the nation's banking sector will in turn prove beneficial for the people as well. - Borneo Bulletin (1st Feb 2006)