MAYBANK expects to capture a 30% share of the local trade finance market by 2007, from 25% at present, banking on the healthy growth of the economy in Malaysia and in neighbouring countries.
Trade finance was currently a RM10bil business to Maybank, said Muhamad Umar Swift, its executive vice-president and head, Enterprise Financial Services Group.
“It is our intention to grow our business. As Malaysia becomes more industrialised, we expect more economic activities will be funded through trade finance,” he told Bernama in an interview.
Despite the challenging business environment, he said, Maybank would continue to reach out to customers, improve backroom processing and raise efficiency at its branches.
Revenue from trade financing through its existing 15 trade finance centres (TFCs) has expanded significantly, growing by 34.4% for the year ended June 30, over the previous year.
“We are number one in terms of market share and transactions, and we are proud of that,” Umar said, adding that trade finance contributed 17% to group revenue.
In Asiamoney's inaugural 2004 trade finance poll, Maybank topped in five categories for Malaysia, including Best Customer Support, Best Overall Domestic/Local Services, Most Competitive Pricing, Best Product Range and Best Electronic Delivery Channels/Online Platforms.
Maybank also came in second in Best Services for All Trade Needs after RHB Bank.
“We are very much committed to helping our customers do business, and so we have developed an operating model that allows us to focus on trade finance,” Umar said.
He said Maybank's trade finance business needed to be expanded for the banking group to maintain its lead position.
“We have to continue growing this year and next year, we will expand our coverage by setting up additional mini trade finance centres in Peninsular Malaysia as well as in Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.
Currently, Maybank has mini centres in Muar, Miri and Sibu, and plans to expand to Batu Pahat, Seremban and Alor Star in Peninsular Malaysia and to Bintulu, Sandakan, Tawau and Labuan in East Malaysia.
Umar said Maybank was also venturing into structured finance, a new product providing financing to both exporters and importers, a task traditionally undertaken by the global banks.
“We hope to launch it in the current financial year,” he added.
Umar said Maybank had seen tremendous growth in the small and medium enterprises (SME) market in the past 12 months and “we are clearly supporting SMEs, as this is where our growth will be coming from.”
Maybank, he said, was benchmarking itself against foreign banks, and added: “We actually look around the world to see what the other banks are doing, and what ideas are good.
“We have the benefit of seeing everything that has been done, which means we can apply our knowledge and our imagination to take things to the next level. We are not playing catch up, but jumping to the next level.” – Bernama
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