The new 22,000 sq metre headquarters for Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) on Jalan Menteri Besar will be complete by early 2020, the central bank announced on Saturday.

Sitting atop 16 acres of land in Kg Melabu, the building will house offices for AMBD’s 200 staff, a currency gallery and a multi-purpose hall.

His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Deputy Sultan, graced the foundation-laying ceremony for the new HQ, in his capacity as chairman of AMBD.

HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah is briefed on the construction of the new AMBD headquarters by its managing director Yusof Hj Abd Rahman. Photo: Infofoto

“This is a very significant and meaningful development for the country,” said Home Affairs Minister Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Abu Bakar Hj Apong. “It is the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken by AMDB since its establishment on January 1, 2011.”

The minister said that the “modern classical” design reflects the gravitas of a central bank of international standards, which “plays an important role in the development of a progressive and inclusive financial sector”.

Nine architecture firms were invited to compete for the design tender, with OWMP International eventually winning out as lead architect. AMBD declined to disclose the value of the project.

Artist’s impression of the new AMBD headquarters.

YB Pehin Hj Abu Bakar said the construction of the building will be funded by issuing sukuk (Islamic bonds), which he called a “significant initiative to develop the financial markets in our country”.

He added that the government hopes to issue more sukuk to fund domestic infrastructure projects.

Sukuk offerings are part of Brunei’s plans to expand the scope of the financial sector by providing a greater diversity of public and private sector financing. Using sukuk to finance infrastructure projects has become an increasingly important tool in development, according to the World Bank.

AMBD is a statutory body, acting as the central bank of Brunei Darussalam which undertakes several core functions, chief of which is the formulation and implementation of monetary policies, the regulation and supervision of financial institutions as well as currency management.