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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        11  May 2011

Maybank sees loan growth

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Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), Malaysia's largest commercial bank, has set a 12 percent loan growth target for its financial year ending June 2011 compared with the industry's expected growth of 8 percent to 10 percent.

President and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar said despite the hike in interest rates which would impact household loans, business loans would continue to grow, driven by project financing under the Economic Transformation Programme.

Retail sector represented half of the bank's total loan portfolio, he said at a ceremony yesterday where Maybank Islamic, the group's Islamic banking arm, presented RM7.07mil in zakat contribution to state zakat collection centres and welfare organisations.

Meanwhile, Abdul Wahid said Maybank planned to expand its foothold in Thailand through its acquisition of Kim Eng Holdings Ltd of Singapore.

He added that Maybank had now become the majority shareholder of Kim Eng Holdings with about 50.2 percent interest.

Maybank said in a statement yesterday that it had completed the acquisition of a 44.6 percent stake in Kim Eng Holdings, which was now its subsidiary. It had acquired a 5.6 percent stake through market purchases in the period of Jan 7-10.

As Kim Eng Holdings and its subsidiaries hold about 55.75% of the paid-up capital in Kim Eng Securities (Thailand) Public Co Ltd (KEST), Mayban IB Holdings (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Maybank) would be required to make an offer for all the issued shares in KEST.

“Our vision is to be regional financial services leader in Southeast Asia,” Abdul Wahid said. Maybank has established presence in seven countries in Asean.

According to Abdul Wahid, Maybank is now among the top four banks in South-East Asia in terms of size. “We remain focused on our expansion plans in the markets where we have presence including Singapore, Indonesia, Philipines and Cambodia,” he said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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