Maybank is taking advantage of the Malaysian ringgit’s current higher value against the pound sterling, setting up a facility to allow customers to take ringgit loans to buy property in London.

The ‘Overseas Mortgage Loan Scheme’ expects a takeup of RM60 million ($19.7 million) as Malaysians buy commercial and residential properties in prime London locations like The City, Kensington, Westminster, Knightsbridge and Chelsea. Malaysia-based financing will be available for up to 85% of purchases with flexible payments and terms of up to 30 years or 70 years of a customer’s age (whichever comes first).

Until now, Malaysians interested in UK property had to take pound loans through UK-based banks, subjecting themselves to the risks of currency value volatility and were limited to purchasing ‘buy-to-let’ properties, rather than own occupation.

Maybank said it expects applications to peak early in the year, as the UK would institute a new 5% property tax on properties over 1 million pounds from April. The ringgit’s improved value and lower real estate prices have seen a recent surge in interest among high net worth Malaysians looking to buy in western European properties, either as investments or as housing for children studying overseas.

source & article: The Edge Malaysia