No real M&A opportunities for Maybank yet

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KUALA LUMPUR: Group president and chief executive officer of Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) Datuk Abdul Farid Alias said the group will not be undergoing any mergers or acquisitions (M&A) anytime soon, even in the region.

“We are growing organically, primarily. Right now, there are no real M&A opportunities that make sense for us in the region,” he told reporters at the sidelines, during the launch of the new Maybank2u mobile application on Sept 08 (Monday).

His statement was made with regard to the planned mega-bank merger among CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, RHB Capital Bhd and Malaysia Building Society Bhd, to form the largest banking group in Malaysia.

Abdul Farid said the merger will be good for Malaysia’s economy, adding that bigger and stronger banks are required to address the needs of the Southeast Asian region, as Maybank aims to grow in Asean countries such as Singapore and Indonesia.

“In Malaysia, we are big enough. Maybank Islamic, for example, is the third-biggest Islamic bank in the world. Other banks can merge all around us and Maybank Islamic is still going to be the biggest [Islamic bank] in Malaysia.

“But like I said earlier, the most important initiative for us, is how to grow in Southeast Asia, how to grow faster in other countries in Asean and how to be relevant in all these countries,” he said.

Meanwhile, on the launch of the new Maybank2u mobile application, Farid said the group aims to boost the transaction value of its digital banking platform by 30% to 35% within two years, from its current value of RM13 billion per month.

He added that the new application will reinforce Maybank’s online leadership and believes the future of banking lies in digital space.

“Currently (yesterday), our customers conduct some RM13 billion worth of transactions on Maybank2u monthly, which is 53% of the number of transactions performed in the market.

“We are hoping to see this grow by at least 30% over the next two years, boosted by this app,” he said.

The new Maybank2u application allows users to do all the normal functions of the Maybank2u website, and more.

Users will now be able to do mobile-to-mobile transfers, get stock market information, and also use the ‘Locate’ function to find nearby ATM or Maybank branches.

The app also has the ‘Around Me’ function, which supplies information on customer benefits and promotions by Maybank at nearby locations.

“This allows you to instantly view and receive information on Maybank customer promotions and benefits at nearby locations, just by using your phone camera, via an innovative Augmented Reality capability,” said Abdul Farid.

Currently, the application is available in Malaysia and Singapore.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on Sept 09, 2014.