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No.1 at home, Maybank seeks supremacy in Asean

Malaysian financial services giant Maybank aims to be the market leader in securities brokerage services across Asean by 2015, according to Abdul Wahid Omar, its president and chief executive officer.

Maybank, which announced the acquisition of Singaporean broker Kim Eng Holdings in January 2011, currently has operations in 11 countries, including strong market positions in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia.

"Maybank Kim Eng's vision to become the region's financial powerhouse by 2015 will benefit from the advent of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in that year," Mr Wahid said at a briefing in Bangkok yesterday.

He said one-third of Maybank's revenue now comes from outside of Malaysia, together with 27% of net earnings.

By 2015, the group aims to generate up to 40% of pre-tax profits from outside Malaysia. Maybank, Malaysia's largest bank and the fourth-largest in Southeast Asia, reported 2011 earnings of US$1.6 billion with assets of $143 billion. The group operates 2,200 offices and employs 45,000 people in 17 countries.

Mr Wahid said the bank's goal was to "humanise financial services across Asia", with an eye towards playing a dominant role in the region and eventually expanding to the Middle East, China and India.

The launch of the AEC, with its integration of the Asean markets into a single community, offers tremendous potential.

"[The AEC] will transform the entire region into a single highly-competitive market and production base," Mr Wahid said, "and Maybank Kim Eng intends to capitalise on the free flow of goods, services, investment, capital and skilled labour."

He cited Kim Eng's strong presence in Thailand, Asean's second-largest economy, as a key factor in Maybank's decision to acquire the brokerage last year.

Maybank Kim Eng Securities (Thailand) will be a key channel for the group to expand its presence locally, not only in brokerage and investment banking, but also in areas such as insurance, Islamic banking and cash management.

Mr Wahid acknowledged that the lack of a commercial banking licence in Thailand was a "missing piece of the jigsaw".

Despite numerous offers over the past three years, the right deal has yet to materialise, he said, adding that Maybank "hasn't closed the door" on a potential acquisition in the country or opportunity to open a banking branch.

Maybank KE Thailand, which reported 2011 earnings of 654 million baht on revenue of 3.2 billion, accounted for 28% of total revenue for Maybank Kim Eng last year.

By : Bangkok Post Newspaper

Published: 24/04/2012 at 02:19 AM

  • Newspaper section: Business
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