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Hong Leong Bank Bags The Asian Banker's Best Credit Card Product Award

Kuala Lumpur, 10 July 2006 - Hong Leong Bank (HLB) added another feather to its cap when it recently won the Best Credit Card Product Award 2005, administered by The Asian Banker for its 5th Excellence in Retail Financial Services Award Program.

HLB was presented with the award at a ceremony, the region's most prestigious retail banking event, held in Kowloon, Hong Kong on 9 June 2006.

The Asian Banker Excellence in Retail Financial Services Award Program is the region's most prestigious, comprehensive and anticipated awards program that recognises the pursuit of excellence amongst retail financial institutions in the Asia Pacific region. It was refereed by prominent bankers, consultants and academics from around the world. For the current program, over 120 retail financial institutions were assessed in detail through a rigorous research process to arrive at the winners of the various award categories.

This year sees the Program introducing the Best Credit Card Product Award to its list of awards for single product or process excellence for banks that introduced innovative and best practices in 2005. Hong Leong Bank emerged the winner of this award for its Mobile Credit Card.

Launched in October 2005, the Hong Leong Mobile Credit Card is the first of its kind, allowing customers who are provided with a six-digit personal identification number (PIN) to pay for goods and services using mobile phones via short messaging service (SMS). This offering is the result of HLB's tie-up with technology provider Mobile Money International Sdn. Bhd.

This unique method of payment, known as "Mobile Money" is speedy, convenient and cost effective. Using only the mobile phone for approval of transactions and payments, there is no longer a need for the physical plastic card, merchant terminals or Internet terminals. Payment requests are delivered via SMS. There is no need for cardmembers to be present at the point of sales or at the merchant outlets. Payments can therefore be made from wherever cardmembers are, at whichever place where there are mobile phone signals.

As the mobile phone is linked to the Hong Leong Mobile Credit Card account, and the security PIN is set by the customer and used for approval of each payment similar to the ATM PIN concept, the system is therefore secure.

Using the Hong Leong Mobile Credit Card is also rewarding as well. Each transaction is rewarded with instant cash rebate and the cash rebates accumulated can be used to make purchases at any "Mobile Money" retail outlet.

HLB is expecting a large number of its existing card members especially active card users, and new customers from the more technology-savvy group to adopt the product.

With its attractive benefits topped off by the Asian Banker's Best Credit Card Product Award, the Hong Leong Mobile Credit Card has placed HLB as the industry leader in credit card and payment solution in the world of mobile technology, creating an excellent opportunity for the bank to foster a stronger relationship with its customers and generate new business at the same time.

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Press Release - 10/07/2006