National Bonds Corporation (NBC), the Shariah-compliant saving scheme, is targeting the Indian subcontinent and plans to launch an awareness campaign in Pakistan and India by year-end, according to the company CEO.
“We are also planning to increase our below the line awareness with our campaign in Pakistan followed possibly by India later this year,” said Mohammed Qasim Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer, NBC, told Emirates 24/7.
“Almost 26 per cent of our international customers are from the Asian countries who buy online through a bank transfer facility.”
Although the company is constantly evaluating niche market opportunities, Al Ali said it has not finalized any plans for launching a similar Shariah-compliant saving scheme in Indonesia.
“We are constantly evaluating niche market opportunities. At the moment there are no specific plans for Indonesia. However, we have plans to expand the awareness of National Bonds across the region, beginning with neighboring GCC markets.”
In March 2010, the company said it was conducting a feasibility study and was in talks with a bank to launch a saving scheme in Indonesia.
Asked if NBC had increased its investments in sukuks this year, Al Ali said: “We did increase our sukuk holdings due to the attractive yields that are being offered in the market. Sukuks comprise a sizable percentage of our Mudarba fund.”
Currently, only two per cent of its bondholders purchase online.
“However, we will enable more international e-payment gateways to cater to requests from customers outside UAE. One of these options will be the mobile payments. Our aim is to reach 12 per cent of e-sales internationally by second quarter of 2012,” Al Ali revealed.
NBC is now 100 per cent owned by the Investment Corporation of Dubai, which acquired the remaining 50 per cent stake from Emaar Properties, Dubai Holding and Dubai Bank.
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