Asian Finance Bank is now MBSB Bank

KUALA LUMPUR: Asian Finance Bank Bhd (AFB) is now known as MBSB Bank Bhd after being acquired by Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB).

MBSB Bank president and group CEO Datuk Seri Ahmad Zaini Othman said with the transfer of all MBSB's syariah-compliant assets and liabilities to AFB, MBSB Bank is safely the second largest full-fledged Islamic bank in the country in terms of asset size at RM43.7 billion.

The new brand was launched today by Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani.

MBSB, which finalised its acquisition of AFB in February for RM644.95 million, will be providing syariah-compliant products and services in the new bank, such as consumer banking, business banking and trade financing.

Moving towards a digitisation platform, MBSB Bank will focus on developing its fintech capabilities to attract more customers.

ISES 2018 to discuss future of energy market

KUALA LUMPUR: Reinventing the business model for power utilities and the blockchain’s future role in the energy market will be among the topics discussed at the Fourth International Sustainable Energy Summit (ISES) 2018. The summit would be co-organised by the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) and the Sarawak Ministry of Utilities from April 10-11 in […]

Digitisation offers enormous potential for financial sector

KUALA LUMPUR: Digitisation offers enormous potential for the financial sector to achieve what was not possible before, said Bank Negara Malaysia Deputy Governor, Jessica Chew Cheng Lian. She said the transition to a digital economy itself called for a re-orientation of the financial sector to meet the new business demands for financial services and on […]

Bank Negara on enormous digitisation potential in financial sector

KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 — Digitisation offers enormous potential for the financial sector to achieve what was not possible before, said Bank Negara Malaysia Deputy Governor Jessica Chew Cheng Lian. She said the transition to a digital economy…

Capital raising to dip to RM120b this year after record high in 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) expects total capital raising through primary and secondary markets to be around RM120 billion this year, lower than the record high of RM146.6 billion raised in 2017.

Last year’s figure represents a 48.8% jump from the RM98.5 billion capital raised in 2016.

In its annual report for 2017, the SC said domestic fundraising this year is expected to be driven mainly by capital raising in the corporate bond and sukuk market for infrastructure financing as well as refinancing of bonds and sukuk.

Fundraising through the corporate bond and sukuk market is expected to amount to about RM100 billion while equity fundraising is expected to be about RM20 billion, with RM8 billion to be raised via initial public offerings (IPOs) and RM12 billion via the secondary market.

SC chairman Tan Sri Ranjit Ajit Singh (pix) said 2017 was an exceptional year and the RM120 billion projected for 2018 is much higher than the long-term average of RM114 billion.

“People were anticipating rate hikes so they were positioning things differently. There are companies who deferred capital raising in 2015 and 2016, and moved to 2017. So there are multiple factors. You cannot use an outlier and use that as a new benchmark, it is not an appropriate comparison to make,” he told reporters at a briefing today.

Ranjit said there is a consistent level of capital raising that is occurring through Malaysia’s very well developed capital market, which shows that there is an avenue for businesses to raise a lot of funding.

“Malaysia is very fortunate to be able to develop a financial system that has a strong banking system and a strong capital market, not present in many markets. We have a very deep bond and sukuk market, which allows companies to access the bond and sukuk market to raise the sort of financing that you’ve seen,” he added.

Ranjit said both the equity and bond and sukuk markets still have a very favourable outlook and believes that the capital markets will remain vibrant this year while emerging markets will continue to outpace growth in developed markets.

“We believe the economic and market fundamentals for Malaysia are extremely strong, and given the improvements in corporate earnings, we think the positive sentiments overall will continue. We think 2018 will be a very good year,” he said.

Last year, the capital market grew 12.6% to RM3.2 trillion with total fundraising hitting a record high of RM146.6 billion, above the five-year average of RM114 billion.

Equity market capitalisation grew 14.4% to RM1.9 trillion while bond and sukuk outstanding grew 10.1% to RM1.3 trillion. Islamic capital market increased by 11.9% to RM1.9 trillion, representing close to 60% of the overall capital market.

Of the RM146.6 billion raised last year, RM124.9 billion was raised in the corporate and bond market, RM7.2 billion via 12 IPOs and RM14.5 billion in the secondary equity market.

The fund management industry posted 11.5% growth with assets under management of RM776.2 billion compared with RM696.3 billion in 2016, while the unit trust industry’s net asset value expanded 19.1% to some RM427 billion.

Meanwhile, the SC announced today that it will jointly establish a working group with Bank Negara Malaysia to accelerate digitisation of the stockbroking industry. Named Brokerage Industry Digitisation Group (BRIDGe), it aims to enhance operational efficiencies and service standards.
This year, the SC also aims to license the first digital investment manager and release findings from its ongoing blockchain pilot project.

Celcom allocates RM1.3b capex for upgrades, network expansion

KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 — Data network provider, Celcom Axiata Bhd, has allocated about RM1.3 billion as capital expenditure (capex) this year, with the majority to be used for upgrades and network expansion. Chief Executive Officer, Michael…

Celcom Axiata sets lower capex of RM1.3 billion this year

KUALA LUMPUR: Celcom Axiata Bhd, which saw a 19.57% jump in net profit in the fourth quarter (Q4) ended December 31, 2017, has set a lower capital expenditure (capex) guidance of RM1.2 billion to RM1.3 billion for 2018, a bulk of which will be spent on network.

The telco's net profit stood at RM336 million in Q417, against the RM281 million registered in the preceding year's corresponding quarter, on the back of cost optimisation efforts and one-off adjustments.

Revenue for the quarter rose from RM1.65 billion to RM1.77 billion.

Full-year net profit was 1.3% higher at RM1.25 billion compared with RM1.23 billion a year ago, while full-year revenue expanded from RM6.62 billion to RM6.66 billion.

Speaking to reporters via a livestream from Nusajaya, Johor, Celcom Axiata CFO Jennifer Wong said besides network expansion, the group will also be spending its capex allocation on digitisation. Last year, it spent RM1.5 billion on capex.

Malaysia’s economic environment positive ahead of GE14

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s economic environment and market sentiment remain positive ahead of the coming 14th General Election, said Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani. He said the economy had performed well in 2017, posting a 5.9 per cent growth in gross domestic product, the second best in Asean after the Philippines, which registered […]

Hong Leong Bank reports RM1.3b first half profit

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — Hong Leong Bank Berhad recorded a net profit of RM1.3 billion for the first half of its financial year ending Dec 31, 2017. This was a 21-per cent increase versus the same period a year ago. Net interest income for the…

Asean SMEs to invest more in tech to boost business

KUCHING: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore and the Asean region see the need to invest more in technology in order to succeed under increasingly challenging conditions. These are the findings of the Asean SME Transformation Study by United Overseas Bank (UOB), EY and Dun & Bradstreet. The study found that three in five […]