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11 October 2008
Bandar Seri Begawan, Saturday, 11th October 2008.  In celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Baiduri Bank Group today hosted a grand dinner and concert titled “Malam Silaturahim D’Concert 2008” for its customers and business associates at the Jerudong Park Amphitheatre, Jerudong.

The 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 dinner was also graced by other members of the royal family.

In his welcome address, Mr Pierre Imhof, General Manager of Baiduri Bank expressed his appreciation to the guests for their support during the past year and outlined the major progresses and achievements of the Baiduri Bank Group during the same period.

The Group delivered excellent results in 2007, with profits after tax amounting to B$31 million, an increase of 63% over the previous year.  The Bank received two international awards. In November 2007, it was awarded “Bank of the Year 2007” for Brunei by The Banker Magazine, UK for the fifth time in six years.  In February this year, it won a Special Citation at the 3rd Financial Insights Innovation Awards for mobile payment service called FAST.  “We are proud of such international recognition, and especially when it rewards innovation in technology”, said Mr Imhof.

Mr Imhof then elaborated on the Bank’s ongoing improvement programmes to further enhance their service to customers.  These included the opening of two new centers:  Loan Centre and Business Services Centre and upgrading IT operations and relocating to a new state-of-the-art Data Centre. In addition, Baiduri Finance shall soon be moving to new premises in Beribi, to bring it closer to the automobile district.

The uniqueness of Kampong Ayer, as a part of Brunei’s national heritage and conservation initiatives for the village was also mentioned.  Mr Imhof announced that the Bank will be partnering with His Majesty’s Government on an awareness drive to preserve the village’s uniqueness and maintenance of a clean environment so that future generations can continue to enjoy its beauty and tranquility.

Touching on the current global financial situation, Mr Imhof expressed serious concern for everyone. He stated that in spite of all the turmoil, Baiduri Bank Group’s foreign shareholder, BNP Paribas, has emerged as one of the least affected and one of the strongest banks in the world.  He also mentioned that Baiduri Bank’s activities, which are essentially domestic, have been doing well, thanks to the stable economic environment in Brunei and high oil prices.

The Chairperson of Baiduri Bank Group, YTM Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah presented donations to four needy families, one each from the four districts.  The donations were received by Datin Adina Bte Othman, Director of Community Development, Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports on behalf of the families.

It was highlighted that during the year, more than $100,000 worth of donations were made to several organizations. This was made possible through significant generous contributions from YTM Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah, proceeds from the annual Baiduri Masters Charity Golf and from the Bank’s funds.

Tokens of appreciation were presented to YTM Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah by three organizations that had significantly benefited from Baiduri Bank’s charity programmes, namely Child Development Centre, SMARTER Brunei and Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah.

Guests were enthralled by performances by an internationally renowned singer, dancer and actress from Indonesia, Agnes Monica and her dance troupe.   The 22-year old pop diva, who was performing for the first time in Brunei, has numerous albums, movies and TV drama series and awards to her name. Saiful Apek, a top comedian from Malaysia and staff of Baiduri Bank Group also put up several performances during the evening.

More than 1,200 guests attended the event, including cabinet ministers, senior government officials and prominent local business leaders and professionals.
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