KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 25 - The Singapore operations of Islamic bank Kuwait Finance House has cut its workforce as part of a plan to streamline its regional fund management business, a director said on Monday.
The decision to reduce Kuwait Finance's Singapore headcount to two from about eight comes shortly after the departure of Islamic Bank of Asia's top Singapore executive raised industry concerns that the city-state's Islamic finance market is growing too slowly and so is prompting some companies to restructure.
"We are in the process of streamlining our operations to essentially minimise duplication of fund management and similar functions in the region," KFH Singapore Pte Ltd's non-executive director Ian Tham told Reuters by telephone.
Kuwait Finance House Singapore was set up to manage regional funds promoted by the KFH Group.
Tham said KFH Singapore had not managed any funds since its inception and was working on fund management plans for 2010.
"We do not, out of the Singapore office, manage any funds but the initiative in the shipping fund and the initiative in various other funds, that continues," he said.
Singapore saw $123.6 million of sukuk issuance last year, compared with $8 billion for Malaysia and $1.2 billion for Indonesia, its nearest Islamic banking competitors.