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04 November 2006

In celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Baiduri Bank Group today hosted an appreciation banquet titled “Malam Silaturahim 2006” for its Muslim customers and business associates at the Royal Berkshire Ballroom, Jerudong Park Polo Club.

Guest-of-honour for the event was the Chairperson of Baiduri Bank Group, Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah binti Al-Marhum Pengiran Pemancha Pengiran Anak Haji Mohamed Alam. The banquet was also graced by the presence of other members of the royal family. More than 500 guests attended the banquet, including senior government officials and prominent local business leaders and professionals.

The guests were greeted with a team of guling-tangan musicians and Baiduri Bank Group’s management committee upon arrival. Programme for the night began with a grand parade performed by staff members of Baiduri Bank Group, including its senior management team, and a group of performers.

In his welcoming speech, Mr Pierre Imhof, General Manager of Baiduri Bank said, “2006 has been an exciting year for Baiduri Bank Group, with a number of major achievements and initiatives launched. We have also entered into a new frontier by expanding fee-income business and our suite of financial products to meet a more diverse range of customer needs and goals.

“In May this year, we set up the Wealth Management Unit to offer financial planning services and investment products including mutual funds, structured deposits and bancassurance through our strategic tie-up with the American International Assurance Company, Limited (AIA).

"This partnership is an important strategic move to underscore our aim of building an integrated financial services suite, offering a wide range of high quality wealth management products and services for our customers. And to ensure a high degree of professionalism and financial proficiency, we have introduced the Certificate in Financial Planning programme, which is taught by the Singapore College of Insurance. Just a few days ago, we held the first graduation ceremony for the first batch of graduates. We now have 23 qualified Personal Financial Planners across our branches, ready to assist our customers with financial planning and wealth management.

” Another significant development in Baiduri Bank Group’s retail banking business was the launch of specialised retail loans including mortgage loans, catering to the needs of Bruneian consumers. The year 2006 also saw the launch of the Baiduri SME Programme, which is designed to assist the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Brunei. This is a clear demonstration of Baiduri Bank Group’s commitment to building long-term relationships with the SMEs, in support of government initiatives to diversify the local economy.

According to Mr Imhof, the payment card business is also rapidly developing into one of Baiduri Bank Group’s core capabilities. Baiduri Bank is the first bank in Brunei to provide EMV merchant acquiring service, an initiative that was launched in September this year. It is also the first bank to launch an innovative offering under the MasterCard® Unembossed Program – the Baiduri MasterCard CashCard – the only globally accepted prepaid payment card in Brunei.

“In the car financing industry, our fully owned subsidiary Baiduri Finance emerges clearly as the market leader, and continues to grow rapidly in terms of business volume and profitability. It is also the only finance company in Brunei certified to the ISO 9001 international quality standards, and was recertified for the second time this year,” Mr Imhof added.

During the banquet, the Chairperson of Baiduri Bank Group presented donations to the Paediatrics Department, RIPAS Hospital; the Special Education Unit for the blind and the Special Olympics.

Other event highlights included Balinese and Javanese cultural performance by the Batavia Dancers, contemporary Malay numbers by Denada and Tia AFI from Indonesia as well as performances by local artistes. The guests were invited to participate in the rebana repertoire under the guidance of a professional composer. To add to the jubilant atmosphere, a festive draw was also held for the guests during the banquet.

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