As part of Malaysia's effort to emerge as a global centre of Islamic capital markets, the country's Securities Commission has been granting Islamic fund-management licences and is planning to award more. Kuwait Finance House, CIMB Principal and DBS Bank received the first licences last month. "I am heartened by the strong response we have had and the quality of the names that have been engaging with us," said Zarinah Anwar, chairman of the Securities Commission. "Many of these firms are looking toward making Malaysia their global centre of excellence when it comes to Islamic fund management."

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