Saturday, June 09, 2012

INDONESIA - CAPITAL MARKETS - Demand for Local Sukuk ‘Excessive’ With More Likely Ahead, Official Says -Surabaya. The government has issued Rp 120 trillion ($12.8 billion) in Islamic bonds during the past four years, which the Finance Ministry attributes to an “excessive” demand for them among Muslim investors.

The ministry’s director for Shariah financing, Dahlan Siamat, said the government issued its first Islamic bond, known as sukuk, in 2008, and as of Thursday it had issued a total of Rp 120 trillion.

“The achievement has been supported by excessive demand for sukuk in the domestic market,” Dahlan said in Surabaya on Thursday.   (source)

INDONESIA - CAPITAL MARKETS - Government Issuing Sukuk Haji Rp2, 5 trillion - AKARTA - The government issued securities sharia state (SBSN) or state sukuk SDHI 2018 A series of Rp2, 5 trillion to meet part of the 2012 state budget targets.
Written statement of the Directorate General of Debt Management, Ministry of Finance received Antara here on Thursday, citing a 2018 publication SDHI was done through the placement of Haji Fund administered by the Ministry of Religious Affairs on the sukuk.
Hajj is the placement of funds into the state sukuk using the method of the issuance of private placement securities without going through the initial offering, for buyer and a certain amount. (source)

INDONESIA - FINANCE - 96 % of 1997 bail out funds disappeared - Bank Indonesia Bailout Scandal Fugitive Arrested in US - A fugitive in the high-profile Bank Indonesia bailout case has been arrested in San Fransisco, California, after a decade on the run, the Indonesian police said in Jakarta on Friday.

It is not clear yet when the arrest was made, but Sherny Kojongian, 49, a former director with Bank Harapan Sentosa (BHS), is expected to arrive in Jakarta on June 13.

“She will be deported from San Fransisco on June 11. [When she arrives] she will be immediately escorted to the Attorney General’s Office,” Indonesia’s National Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Boy Rafli Amar said in Jakarta on Friday.  (source)

MALAYSIA - PUBLICATIONS - IMF Working Paper 12-151 - What's in it for me ?
What’s in It for Me? A Primer on Differences between Islamic and Conventional Finance in Malaysia
Krasicka, Olga ; Nowak, Sylwia 
IMF Working Papers - June 2012 - 12/151
Summary: What attracts conventional investors to Islamic financial instruments? We answer this question by comparing Malaysian Islamic and conventional security prices and their response to macrofinancial factors. Our analysis suggests that Islamic and conventional bond and equity prices are driven by common factors. Likewise, especially in recent years, Islamic banks have responded to economic and financial shocks in the same way as conventional banks, suggesting that the gap between Islamic and conventional financial practices is shrinking. (source)

Friday, June 08, 2012

INDONESIA - CAPITAL MARKETS - Adhi Karya issues Rp 750b bonds - JAKARTA: Publicly listed construction company PT Adhi Karya is seeking Rp 750 billion (US$80 million) from issuing conventional and Islamic bonds with high coupon rates ranging between 9 and 10.5 percent.

The company is offering Rp 625 billion in conventional bonds, which are divided into two series. The A series, which will account for Rp 375 billion and will mature in five years, will be offered with 9 to 10 percent coupon rates, corporate secretary Kurnadi Gularso said after the company’s public expose on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the B series, which will total Rp 250 billion with a maturity period of seven years, will be offered with 9.5 to 10.5 percent coupon rates.  (source)


The Next Phase in Islamic Finance  
Ravi Menon
Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore
Opening Address at the 3rd Annual World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit
Grant Hyatt Singapore
5 June 2012
Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani, President, Islamic Development Bank,
Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.
And to all our foreign guests, a warm welcome to Singapore.
An Increasingly Difficult Conjuncture
We are meeting here for the 3rd Annual World Islamic Banking Conference Asia Summit, at a time of increasing stress in the global economy and financial system.  (source)

INDONESIA - CLIPS - BIFIS 2012 Bandung (AmilinTV - 4 clips)

Exclusive Interview - A. Riawan / Rushdi Siddiqui / Sheikh Nizam Yakubi / Ahmad Heryawan
Event: Bandung Islamic Finance and Investment Smbmit 2012
Venue: Grand Royal Panghegar Bandung, Indonesia
Date: 29th - 30th May 2012

SINGAPORE - EVENTS - Islamic banks 'can fill funding gap': S’pore Monetary Authority -Islamic banks are priming themselves to capture a larger share of the global trade and project financing market, as European banks pull back funds to mend balance sheets back home.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore's (MAS) managing director Ravi Menon noted on Tuesday that trade and infrastructure development is naturally compatible with Islamic finance, which has a focus on supporting real productive activities.
At the World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit in Singapore, he urged Islamic bankers to diversify into this space.  (source)

INDONESIA - CAPITAL MARKETS - Government Sukuk Tebitkan Haji Rp2, 5 T - Jakarta-The government re-issued securities in Islamic countries (SBSN) or state sukuk SDHI series 2018 A senlai Rp2, 5 triliun.Penerbitan Haji Indonesia Sukuk Fund (SDHI) 2018A is done through the placement of Haji Fund administered by the Ministry of Religious Affairs on the sukuk.

According to the Directorate General of Debt Management, Ministry of Finance in Jakarta. The Hajj is the placement of funds into the state sukuk using the method of the issuance of private placement securities without going through the initial offering, for buyer and a certain amount(source)

WORLD - INDEX - Changes Made To Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes -Changes Follow Regular Annual Review - LONDON (7 June 2012) Dow Jones Indexes, a leading global index provider, today announced the results of the regular annual review of the Dow Jones Islamic Market Titans 100 Index and its three subindexes, Dow Jones Islamic Market U.S. Titans 50 Index, Dow Jones Islamic Market Asia/Pacific Titans 25 Index and Dow Jones Islamic Market Europe Titans 25 Index as well as the Dow Jones Islamic Market Malaysia Titans 25 Index. All changes will be effective after the close of trading on Friday, June 15, 2012.
In the Dow Jones Islamic Market Titans 100 Index and subindex Dow Jones Islamic Market U.S. Titans 50 Index, Baker Hughes Inc., Corning Inc. and Marathon Oil Corp. will be replaced by eBay Inc., Express Scripts Holding Co. and Nike Inc. Cl B.  (source)

INDONESIA - CAPITAL MARKETS - SADHI KARYA Bonds offered at 9-10.5 % - JAKARTA: State-owned construction company PT Adhi Karya Tbk offer coupon bonds and sukuk in the range of 9% - 10.5%.

Director of PT Danareksa Sekuritas Sincere Nababan said the company plans to issue bonds amounting to Rp1 sustainable, 5 trillion. For the first phase of bonds to be issued sebesars Rp750 billion consisting of conventional bonds and sukuk amounting to Rp625 billion worth of 125 stage I mudharabah billion.

The bonds consist of two series of the series A total of Rp375 billion five-year tenure with the indication of a coupon of 9% -10%, and series B as much as 250 billion 7-year tenure with the indicated coupon of 9.5% -10.5%.  (source)

INDONESIA - HALAL - Indonesia: More imported products declared halal by MUI - Companies from 37 countries have been granted halal certificates by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), indicating a growing interest in the halal product business in Indonesia, said an Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) executive on Tuesday.
“It is a good sign that Muslims in Indonesia can consume more imported products, which are safe and in compliance with the Islamic law,” said the Institute for Economic Study, Research and Development (LP3ES) Kadin head, Anaz M Fauzi, during a seminar in Jakarta.  (source)

INDONESIA - RATNGS - Adhi Karya (Persero) Tbk. -PEFINDO raised the ratings of PT Adhi Karya (Persero) Tbk. (ADHI or the Company), the Company’s Bonds IV/2007 at idA” from idA-” and its Sukuk Mudharabah I/2007 at idA(sy) from idA-(sy)”.  At the same time, PEFINDO also assigned “idA” rating to the proposed bond “Obligasi Berkelanjutan I Adhi Tahap I tahun 2012” with a maximum value of IDR1.25 trillion and idA(sy) rating to the proposed “Sukuk Mudharabah Berkelanjutan I Adhi Tahap I tahun 2012” with a maximum value of IDR250 billion. The outlook for the rating is “stable”.   (source)

INDONESIA - FINANCE - HSBC to Pioneer Islamic Forex Products in Indonesia -HSBC Amanah will offer Islamic foreign exchange forwards and cross-currency hedging instruments in Indonesia starting next month to help Shariah-compliant banks manage risks arising from currency fluctuations. “For these two products, we are the first to receive approval from the central bank,” Herwin Bustaman, HSBC Amanah’s Indonesia head, said in a telephone interview yesterday. “Right now Islamic banks are exposed to market risk. This will help the capital markets.” (source)

MALAYSIA - FINANCE - Malaysia to expand new Islamic facility - (Reuters) - Malaysia's central bank will eventually expand its new Islamic money market funding facility to allow trades of the instrument between commercial banks, while introducing longer tenors, the central bank said on Thursday. The central bank announced last week that it was launching a collateralised murabaha facility through which Islamic banks could obtain funds from the central bank by pledging high investment grade sukuk as collateral. The new facility aims to aid Islamic banks' liquidity management.
The central bank told Reuters in an email on Thursday that use of the collateralised murabaha instrument would later be expanded so that banks could trade it between themselves in the interbank market. It did not give a time frame.  (source)

INDONESIA - CAPITAL MARKETS - Sukuk Sale in Works For End of the Year - Indonesia will sell dollar-denominated sukuk toward the end of the year, according to Dahlan Siamat, a director of Islamic financing at the debt management office, provided it gets approval from the finance minister.

Dahlan declined to disclose the size of the offer, saying on Monday that “we have figures for the amount in the report we sent to the finance minister, but he will be the one to decide.”

He did not return calls from the Jakarta Globe seeking comment on the Islamic debt sale. Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo was not available for comment.  (source)

INDONESIA - CAPITAL MARKETS - Indonesia Reports ‘Excessive’ Demand for Sukuk Bonds -Surabaya. The Indonesian government has issued Rp 120 trillion ($12.84 billion) in Islamic bonds, better known as sukuk, over the past four years, which the Finance Ministry attributes to an "excessive" demand among Muslim investors.

The ministry’s director for Shariah financing, Dahlan Siamat, said the government issued its first sukuk in 2008, and as of Thursday had issued a total of Rp 120 trillion in sukuk bonds.

“The achievement has been supported by excessive demands for sukuk in the domestic market,” Dahlan said in Surabaya on Thursday. “And the potential for state sukuk in the country is developing rapidly, given that 80 percent of Indonesians are Muslims, and there remains a large potential for them to become investors.”  (source)

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

INDONESIA - BANKING - Expansion Reaches mortgage BNI Syariah Rp3 T

WWW.REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA - Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) Syariah increase year-end target of financing (mortgage). Target increased from the initial target of Rp200 billion.

"We hope to penetrate Rp3 trillion," said Executive Vice President of BNI Syariah, Strong Rahardjo, told Reuters on Wednesday (6/6). Previously set a target of Rp2 BNI Syariah, 8 trillion.

This is done considering the middle of this month Bank Indonesia will provide down payment restrictions on 70 types of home finance in conventional banks. Surely this is an opportunity for Islamic banks to increase financing of homes and growing(source)

INDONESIA - BANKING - ISLAMIC BANK RULES This golden rule of financing in Islamic banks - JAKARTA. Bank Indonesia (BI) has given the green signal for Islamic banks to provide financing ownership of gold products (PKE) using a murabaha contract (sale and purchase in installments). However, some rules must be met in order not subject to sanctions when the product is running. What is it?
Rules contained in the SE Number 14/16/DPbS about PKE BI launched late last month said the Sharia Bank or Sharia (UUS), which will distribute the products PKE must obtain prior approval from the BI.
"Sharia Bank or UUS shall report the realization of products PKE spending a maximum of 10 days after issuance of the PKE product," as stated in the SE signed by Deputy Governor of the Bank Halim Alamasyah.  (source)

INDONESIA - BANKING - Expansion of Foreign Banks in Indonesia Bank Sarasin to open the service in Indonesia - JAKARTA. Bank Sarasin & Co.. Ltd., began considering a plan to do business in Indonesia. Currently, a special bank manage customer wealth of at least U.S. $ 2.7 million, the newly opened representative office in Singapore to attract the rich in Asia.
Renate Boerner, Marketing Communications Director of Bank Sarasin said it wanted to open a representative office in Indonesia to expand the market. The potential is promising, in line with the increasing number of wealthy people in this country. "But we are not going to realize in the near future," he said KONTAN met on Tuesday (5/6). (source)

INDONESIA - CAPITAL MARKETS - Bank Muamalat Issues Subordinated Sukuk Worth IDR 1.5 Trillion - Bank Muamalat Indonesia issues a total of IDR 1,5 trilion Subordinated Sukuk in Jakarta 5/30, as the Indonesian Islamic banking pioneer aims to strengthen the capital structure in speeding up business.

The idA(sy) rating is given by PT Pefindo - Credit Rating Indonesia for this Mudharaba-based subdebt, meanwhile Bank Muamalat was rated idA+ as the issuer. In the first period, the bank issues IDR 500.000.000.000 (IDR 500 billions) of the total amount of IDR 1.5 trillion to be issued in the next two years.  (source)

INDONESIA - TAKAFUL - Syarikat Takaful may go for M&As to secure bigger market share -PETALING JAYA: Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd will focus on its core markets in Malaysia and Indonesia but does not rule out the possibility of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in a bid to have a stronger foothold and a bigger market share in the takaful business.
Goup managing director Datuk Mohamed Hassan Kamil (pic) told StarBiz the company was now concentrating its efforts in growing the Malaysian and Indonesian market organically.
“Any M&A activities will be deliberated at our holding company level. Our main focus is to grow the business in Malaysia and Indonesia while continuously working hard to gain the top position and increase our market share.” (source)

MALAYSIA - BANKING - Maybank Islamic reports 50/50 split of Muslim/non Muslim customers  - Product innovation and knowledge of local market wins over customers of any religion, according to Maybank Islamic’s CEO, Muzaffar Hisham.

The demographic of Maybank Islamic’s customers is a 50/50 split of Muslims/non Muslims, Hisham revealed to Islamic Business & Finance on the sidelines of the 3rd World Islamic Banking Conference Asia Summit.
“One of the reasons is because we are able to price our products to be more competitive, secondly we have some advantages from the Government including tax incentives – not big ones, but small ones but that helps,” said Hisham. (source)

INDONESIA - CAPITAL MARKETS - Indonesia details Sukuk auction for 12 June -The Ministry will be selling six-month Shari’ah T-bills and project-based Sukuk across a range of maturities: six, 10, 15 and 25 years (respectively, 2018, 2022, 2027 and 2037).
Indonesia’s most recent Sukuk auction on 22 May also had an indicative target of IDR 1 trillion but only raised IDR 550 billion despite receiving bids totalling IDR 1.42 trillion. Thee country has a fund-raising target of IDR 46.5 trillion in both conventional and Shari’ah bonds for Q2 2011. (source)

CHINA - INDEX - Component Changes Made to Dow Jones Islamic Market China/Hong Kong Titans 30 Index -LONDON, Jun 5, 2012 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) -- Dow Jones Indexes, a leading global index provider, today announced that Hong Kong's Limited will be removed from the Dow Jones Islamic Market China/Hong Kong Titans 30 Index due to its acquisition by Alibaba Group Holding Limited. Limited will be replaced by Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Limited. Headquartered in Shenyang, China, Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd. is engaged in manufacture and sale of minibuses and automotive components.
The changes in the Dow Jones Islamic Market China/Hong Kong Titans 30 Index will be effective as of the open of trading on Friday, June 8, 2012. (source)

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

THAILAND - OPINION - Closing the gap: the next big step for Islamic banking - Fifteen years ago, Muslims wishing to take out a mortgage, use a credit card or deposit money into a current account would have been hard pushed to do so and stay compliant with Shariah law.
With few Islamic banks around - and a limited range of Shariah products - banking as a Muslim invariably involved compromising either your faith or your financial needs.
Today, in many markets, such compromise is no longer necessary. Islamic banking is becoming a part of the mainstream, widely available across financial products and geographies. In 2012, Islamic banking assets are expected to reach US$1.1 trillion (Bt34.7 trillion) globally, up 33 per cent on 2010, according to Ernst & Young. Within just a few years, Islamic banking has transformed into a global industry.
There are three major drivers behind this extraordinary journey - three reasons why I believe Islamic banking will keep on growing far into the next decade. (source)

MALAYSIA - OPINION - Lost in translation ? - It ought to be the Editor of Islamic Business & Finance’s dream to be sent to Kuala Lumpur, a city whose space-age skyscrapers house the institutions responsible for developing the world’s most sophisticated Islamic finance market. However, as I walked its bustling streets I soon learned that the wonders of Malaysia’s Islamic banking industry have yet to translate down to its banking consumers…
Boasting a 20 per cent market share, which the country’s Central Bank wants to double within the next five years, its Islamic banks are spoiled with a supportive Government, advanced Islamic capital market and a ready-made consumer market from the country’s majority-Muslim population. Malaysia’s population, however, seem a bit nonplussed by the concept. (source)

AUSTRALIA - FINANCE - The Australian News Opinion National Affairs Business Aus IT Higher Ed Media Sport Arts Life Magazines Careers Video Business News Opinion Companies Markets Wall Street Journal Economics Mining & Energy Wealth Aviation Financial Services Legal Property Top 50 Login Sign Up Search for: Stock Quotes: Markets Crescent unveils first sharia-compliant fund -MUSLIM Australians will be able to stash their cash with today's launch of Crescent Wealth's first Islamic cash management trust, which hopes to attract up to $100 million during the next few years.
Managing director Talal Yassine said he expected much of the money to come from Australian mosques. "Islamic Australians and institutions have had little choice so far but to put their cash reserves in non-compliant cash trusts," he said. (source)

INDONESIA - MICRO FINANCE - Bank Sampoerna Sahabat focus on pre-prosperous community - JAKARTA: PT Bank Friends of Sampoerna work on the microfinance market by highlighting the potential of pre-prosperous community of the customers."We still have a commercial product, but also serve the community in order to pre-prosperous and capable of independent entrepreneurship," said Indra W Supriadi, president & CEO of the bank, tonight.The word friend in the name of the bank chosen more for philosophical reasons. In Arabic, the word friend means a true friend. The name is determined solely by the professionals in it. (source)

INDONESIA - BANKING - Islamic Mutual Funds Offer Bukopin

WWW.REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA - PT Manulife Asset Management Indonesia (MAMI) signed a cooperation with PT Bank Danamon to market investment funds, one of which is Manulife Sector Amanah Syariah.
Islamic products will be marketed in 168 branches of Bank Danamon was appointed. The branch includes a branch of Islamic Bank Bukopin. "This product is one of five products that we market at MAMI Bukopin," said Director of Consumer Banking, Michellina Triwardhany, after signing the MoU between the Bank and Manulife Asset Management Bukopin in Jakarta, Monday (4/6).
Islamic products became popular because it has historically been a company that goes into it is a healthy company. It's just not Bukopin directing customers to this product. Customer asked to choose which products they want to invest.  (source)

MALAYSIA - OPINION - Islamic finance must finance its diversification - Islamic finance is usually described as an infant market with domestic focus and supported by the government, hence, much like a baby reliant upon it parents in a home environment of nutrition, nurturing, and natural growth.

“To be competitive in the new world order, one has to think like an immigrant, create like an artisan, work like a start-up and provide service like a waitress, and continuously create a unique value add.” Thomas Friedman, Foreign Affairs Correspondent of the NY Times.

IN a “hyper-connected world, the age of ‘average’ is officially over”. Is Islamic finance hearing and, more importantly, listening?

The baby-cum-toddler is eventually taken off the bottle and consumes “people food”. Islamic finance, unfortunately, is still suckling on the bottle called “real estate” and the natural growth-cum-diversification is a bottleneck risk that needs to be addressed. (source)

Monday, June 04, 2012

INDONESIA - BANKING - Sharia banks’ assets up 50 percent in March - JAKARTA: The total assets of Indonesia’s sharia banks increased by 50 percent to Rp 158.8 trillion (US$16.99 billion) as of March from Rp 101.2 trillion in the same period last year, according to a senior Bank Indonesia official.

Edy Setiadi, the director for sharia banking at the central bank, said that the annual growth of the Islamic banks in Indonesia averaged 40.2 percent over the past five years.

“Sharia banking only accounts for a 4.23 percent market share. We aimed to achieve 15 to 20 percent of market share within 10 years,” he said during the opening ceremony of International Franchise License and Business Concept Expo & Conference (IFRA) in Jakarta. (source)

INDONESIA - CAPITAL MARKETS - Indonesia to Sell Dollar-Denominated Sukuk Toward End of 2012 - JAKARTA: Indonesia will sell dollar- denominated sukuk toward the end of the year, according to Dahlan Siamat, director of Islamic financing at the debt management office, if it gets approval from the finance minister.

Siamat declined to disclose the size of the offer, saying in an interview in Jakarta today that “we have figures for the amount in the report we sent to the finance minister, but he will be the one to decide.” The nation last sold global Shariah-compliant debt on Nov. 14. (source)

INDONESIA - BANKING - 2013, KSP Nasari Open Shariah branch

WWW.REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA - Save Co-Borrow (KSP) Nasari have raised interest in operating a business in the field of Shariah industry. Nasari KSP did an internal proceeding related to this opening up of sharia.
Nasari KSP Director, Frans Meroga, utter KSP Nasari still discussing the sharia business model. "We are still discussing whether to open a bank KSP or sharia sharia," tuturnya to Republika.
Some time ago Nasari have mengakuisisi a rural banks (BPR). Only just so far has tried the Agency who will move to the new MTR system with sharia, or sharia basis. (source)

Sunday, June 03, 2012

WORLD - FINANCE - Barwa Bank offering three-year, capital protected Islamic notes - Barwa Bank is offering a “unique” Shariah-compliant three-year capital protected notes linked to the Turkey and Indonesia equity markets until June 21.
“The Turkey Indonesia Equity Capital Protected Note is an investment opportunity for investors seeking potentially higher returns with 100% capital protection.
The growth is based on the performance of a selected basket of stocks in two high growth emerging markets- Indonesia and Turkey. (source)

INDONESIA - BANKING - QNB Bank Kesawan expand the market - JAKARTA. Arrival of new investors pushed QNB Bank Kesawan more aggressive expansion. Management set up an investment fund of Rp 150 billion to strengthen its business lines, and network marketing this year.
Divisions, a total of Rp 80 billion to improve the quality of core banking system began in June. The rest, to build about 23 new branches.The new office, among others, in Jakarta, Lampung, Palembang, Samarinda, Central Java, West Java and East Java. "Each new office spent approximately USD 3 billion," said Madi D. Blue, Director of QNB Kesawan yesterday.
Currently QNB Kesawan already operates services in 38 branches. Next year, management continued to expand the marketing network to have 200 branches by 2016. Previously, the new management moved the headquarters from Jalan Gajah Mada, Jakarta Pusat, the SCBD area, South Jakarta.  (source)

INDONESIA - BANKING - Fitch: Indonesia Foreign Bank Ownership Double-Edged Sword - Fresh banking capital will be needed to support the ongoing growth of the Indonesian economy, Fitch Ratings says. 
The challenge in broad terms for the local regulator is to oversee the management of the financial system's risks in such a way that it is able to attract new capital to support this growth, while ensuring the accumulation of risk does not ultimately undermine the stability of the overall financial system.
The debate around Indonesian ownership rules is receiving increased attention due to the offer by SINGAPORE's DBS to acquire Bank Danamon. The regulator is widely expected to clarify its position soon. (source)

THAILAND - HALAL - PM meets with Indonesian President for talks on bilateral cooperation - BANGKOK, 1 June 2012  - Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra today held a meeting with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on East Asia 2012. 
The meeting is aimed at strengthening their bilateral cooperation on agriculture and food exports, with an emphasis on the Halal food industry. The premier has reiterated that the government is aiming to raise the profile of Thai halal food production and food standards to the world’s 1.9 billion Muslim consumers. (source)