Kuala Lumpur:-: Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) has outlined five strategic objectives for the group to strengthen its position in Asean and become the region’s leading financial services provider by 2020.
The next five years, it said, would be focused on expansion within Asean countries, and to recreate the success it has seen in Malaysia in these countries as well.
The objectives outlined are to become the top Asean community bank, the leading Asean wholesale bank linking Asia, the leading Asean insurer, a global leader in Islamic finance and to be the digital bank of choice.
Group president and CEO Datuk Abdul Farid Alias said the bank, which already has a presence in all Asean countries, recognised the significant potential within the region, arising from its growing middle-class, young population and inter and intra-regional trade.
“Our strength has always been Malaysia and the highest returns have always been from Malaysia. It gives us the conviction that whatever level of performance we see in Malaysia, we can also see in the other markets we are present in,” he said at a press conference after the company’s AGM.
He added that while Maybank had already established itself as a leading Asean wholesale bank, it wanted to use its presence to build linkages with other countries in Asia, like China and India.
He said the group had also strengthened its footprint in the region with the opening of a second branch in Laos and a new office tower in Cambodia this year.
“We will soon be opening a new branch in Shenzen – our fifth in Greater China – as we seek to tap into the Asean and Greater China trade flows,” he said.
Maybank group chairman Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor said the bank had grown at about 5% each year in the Asean region over the past four years.
“Being able to sustain that number is actually quite impressive. It shows that we are not relying on growth in any particular country, we are relying on a portfolio of businesses and countries.
“So whatever happens in each of those countries, the ups and downs will hopefully take care of each other, to give a healthy growth,” he said.
Meanwhile, Abdul Farid said the bank’s “syariah-first” strategy had proven to be successful, with syariah-compliant financing now accounting for 50.8% of its Malaysian business.
“We successfully implemented this in Malaysia to the point that 50% of our total assets are now Islamic banking, and we have started doing this in Indonesia.
“We used to be number 10 in Indonesia for Islamic banking, in terms of size, and now we have moved up to fifth place,” he said.