Maybank to open fourth branch in Greater China



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KUALA LUMPUR (Apr 7): Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) will be opening its fourth branch in Greater China in Kunming, Yunnan, making it the first Malaysian bank to set foot in the province.

Maybank (fundamental: 1.5; valuation: 1.45) chairman Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor said the bank is banking on the potential of China and the strategic position of the Yunnan province as a gateway to South Asia and ASEAN.

“Coupled with our global capabilities in transaction banking and treasury as well as our position as market makers for chinese yuan-Singapore dollar and chinese yuan-ringgit, we are confident that Maybank can add value to our clients in the region,” he said at a press conference today, following Maybank’s 55th annual general meeting (AGM).

He said that the group sees China as a key driver for the global economy, especially for ASEAN economies, noting that bilateral trade between ASEAN and China grew five-fold to US$444 billion from US$78 billion in the five-year period up to 2013.

“More significantly, Malaysia has over the last six years been China’s largest ASEAN trading partner,” said Megat Zaharuddin.

Meanwhile, on the announcement made by Maybank to the bourse relating to a fundraising exercise in a foreign country, group president and chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Farid Alias said the exercise does not concern any mergers or acquisitions (M&A).

“It’s a multi-currency facility; it has got nothing to do with any plans for M&A. As you know, part of our business involves lending activity in a non-local currency denomination,” he said, adding that the facility will most likely be in US dollars.

Historically, Maybank has been dependent on its limited deposits and the money market, said Abdul Farid, noting that it is “not a good way to manage our exposure”.

“The way to manage this is to have a proper medium-term funding strategy, and that was what we announced yesterday (Monday),” he said.

At the group’s AGM today, its shareholders passed all its resolutions, which included the payment of a final single-tier dividend of 33 sen per share for the year ended Dec 31, 2014, bringing its total net dividend payout for the year to RM5.27 billion.

At 4.36pm, Maybank was traded at RM9.55, up 5 sen or 0.53%, bringing its market capitalisation to RM89.01 billion.

(Note: The Edge Research's fundamental score reflects a company’s profitability and balance sheet strength, calculated based on historical numbers. The valuation score determines if a stock is attractively valued or not, also based on historical numbers. A score of 3 suggests strong fundamentals and attractive valuations.)