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Army cooperative says still pursuing dream to become a bank

KUALA LUMPUR (July 16): Thrift and loan co-operative Koperasi Angkatan Tentera Malaysia Bhd (KAT) has not abandoned its plan to become a full-fledged Islamic cooperative bank, which it has been pursuing since 2002.

“We are now behaving more like a financial institution. We also have in place a core banking system,” KAT chairman Datuk Zulkiflee Mazlan told reporters, after a 30-minute meeting with the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) at Menara Ilham today.

In September 2015, chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Zahudi Salleh had told The Edge Financial Daily that KAT, which has a financing asset of RM2.97 billion as at end-2017, aimed to be the third cooperative bank after Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Bhd (Bank Rakyat) and Koperasi Bank Persatuan Malaysia Bhd (Bank Persatuan).

In its preparation to morph into a full-fledged Islamic cooperative bank, Zulkiflee said KAT had roped-in and employed around 80 bankers to transform the cooperative entity in its move to become a bank.

“Our plan is still on the move, and we await the higher authority to make a decision on this,” he added.

Zulkiflee said KAT is armed with sufficient liquidity to become a full-fledged cooperative bank with a focus on army personnel, which is expected to be within the context of development financial institution.

As of today, Zulkiflee said KAT has shareholders’ funds in excess of RM2.3 billion, which is higher than Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM)’s minimum capital requirement of RM100 million.

He said the final nod for KAT to become a bank will come from the Malaysian Co-operative Commission (SKM), which will also include an indirect green light from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

READ MORE AT: THE EDGE MARKETS 

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