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6th March 2010
Bandar Seri Begawan, 06 March 2010.  In keeping with tradition, Baiduri Bank Group today hosted an Emperor style 8-course dinner for its customers and business partners in celebration of the Year of the Golden Tiger. 

The event was held at the Grand Hall, The Empire Hotel and Country Club and was attended by more than 1,600 guests.  The guest of honour was Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Awang Lim Jock Seng, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II. Other distinguished guests included prominent businessmen and senior officials from the Government.

In his welcome address, Mr Pierre Imhof, General Manager of Baiduri Bank thanked guests for their support and highlighted the major progresses and achievement of Baiduri Bank Group during the past year.  "Profit before tax increases by 65% over the previous year, a remarkable achievement in the current economic climate", he said.  On the non-financial side, progresses were made in all sectors of the Bank.

During the same period, Baiduri Bank Group achieved three new "firsts". Last May, it launched the Empire Visa Infinite co-brand card, the prestigious of all card classes by Visa.  In July, it was awarded the "Best Banking Group in Brunei" by World Finance, UK, becoming the first bank in Brunei to have won such an award.  Earlier this week, it became the first bank in Brunei to provide card acceptance facilities for China UnionPay, the fastest growing card brand in the world. "With the resumption of direct flights to Shanghai by RBA soon, the number of Chinese tourists coming to Brunei will increase, bringing tremendous business opportunities to Baiduri card merchants", added Mr Imhof.

Sharing his outlook for 2010, he expects this year to be challenging yet promising where opportunities will arise from the continuing diversification programme and a number of recently awarded government contracts.  Baiduri Bank intends to develop further its SME banking facilities to help aspiring SME’s reap the business opportunities generated and participate in the supply chain process.   Following the great success of the newly enhanced personal i-banking service last year, the Bank will roll out the enhanced business i-banking services within the next few months.

Speaking of the achievements of the group over the past 15 years, Mr Imhof said, "Today, in 2010, I stand here, proud of our achievements so far".  Baiduri Bank now has 12 branches, 4 Prestige Centres, a Wealth Management Centre, a Card Centre, a Loan Centre and 28 ATM locations.  Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Baiduri Finance is the leading automobile finance company in Brunei, having branches in Bandar Seri Begawan and Kuala Belait.  The total staff force of the group now exceeds 500.

During the event, five schools received donations from Baiduri Bank to provide financial assistance to underprivileged students in their schools. The donations were presented by Mr Imhof and were received by: Mdm Kho Guik Lan, Principal of Chung Hwa Middle School, Bandar Seri Begawan; Ms Jane Keasberry, Principal of St. Andrew's School; Mr Song Kin Pha, Principal of St. George’s School; Mdm Cheong Poh Lian, Principal of Chung Ching Secondary School, Seria and Mr Tan Yong Kui, Executive Chairman, Chung Hwa Middle School, Kuala Belait.

Also in attendance at today's dinner were Mr Raymond Bariou, Senior Deputy General Manager of Baiduri Bank and senior executives of the Group.
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