Maybank unit in PH gets $100-M infusion | Inquirer Business
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Maybank unit in PH gets $100-M infusion

Malaysia’s biggest lender bullish on Asean
By: - Reporter / @daxinq
/ 10:37 PM November 13, 2012

The parent firm of Maybank Philippines Inc. may infuse as much as $200 million into its local unit as the bank prepares to ramp up its operations amid the ongoing boom in the country’s economy.

In a press briefing, the president and CEO of Malayan Banking Berhad, Dato Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, said the additional equity was on account of the growing business opportunities in the country, especially under the current administration.

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At the same time, he said the move also jibed with the moves of the bank—Malaysia’s biggest lender—to expand its reach across the Southeast Asian region.

“We believe in a shared future for Asean,” he said, referring to the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. “We only have three more years until the region’s economic integration in 2015 and we want to be ready for that.”

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Wahid visited the country as Maybank Philippines announced that it would receive a $100-million equity infusion from its parent firm, set for the first quarter of 2013.

Officials said another $100 million would be “on tap” from the parent firm in the event that business opportunities—as evidenced by the pace of lending growth—in the Philippines justified it.

Previous to this, Maybank Philippines received a $50-million infusion from its parent in December 2010. The bank has been operating in the Philippines since the 1990s, but has, for the most part, maintained a low profile until recently.

In the same briefing, Maybank Philippines president and CEO Herminio Famatigan Jr. said that, going forward, the bank would continue to focus on its corporate lending business as it has done over the last few years, especially in the fields of infrastructure and energy.

He said, however, that, armed with the additional capital, the bank would now pursue retail banking more aggressively to grow it at a pace faster than before.

Speaking about the timing of the capital infusion, the local Maybank head said the current economic environment in the country was also enjoying the benefits of the current administration’s good governance thrust.

The situation also encourages many Malaysian firms to reinvest in the Philippines despite the failure of many such ventures in the 1990s.

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“In my meetings with Malaysian businessmen, the message I hear from them is quite clear: There’s greater clarity and transparency, and the level of governance over the past years—versus the levels seen two decades ago—are giving them confidence,” Famatigan said.

Maybank Philippines has 54 branches nationwide. At the end of the first semester, its net income rose by 304 percent to P359 million due to increased lending activities.

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TAGS: ASEAN, Banking, Business, maybank Philippines inc., Philippine economy, Philippines
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