Long-term economic outlook good

PETALING JAYA: The Principal Financial Group remains optimistic on the long-term growth potential of the Malaysian economy and maintains that this will be reflected in the local equity market.  

President Larry D. Zimpleman said: “We are very optimistic on the long term potential of the local economy, and hence the equity market. We expect to see a more than 10%-12% annual growth for the local bourse.” 

He said the leading financial services group was also optimistic on the global markets. 

“The Federal Reserve is likely to cut the Fed fund rate by another 25 basis points when it meets again in about three weeks. It will definitely have a positive impact on the markets here. But, in the long term, it is the economy that will determine (the performance of the equity markets),” he said after the launch of CIMB-Principal Asset Management’s first unit trust investment corner at CIMB Bank branch at The Curve yesterday. 

CIMB-Principal is a joint venture between CIMB Group and The Principal Financial Group, a Fortune 500 company. 

Larry D. Zimpleman (left) and Sulaiman Tahir

On plans to buy other asset funds in Malaysia, Zimpleman said: “We have ongoing conversations here with our partner CIMB but there's no active discussion at this point.” 

He also said the company was not considering any acquisitions at the moment as it believed organic growth was the best strategy for its business in Malaysia. 

CIMB-Principal's investment corner is a new branch concept to give higher visibility to its range of investment products.  

According to CIMB Bank Bhd head, consumer sales and distribution Sulaiman Tahir, the concept will initially be launched at five branches in the Klang Valley, including outlets in Taman Tun Dr Ismail and Pusat Bandar Damansara.  

Meanwhile, CIMB-Principal director J. Campbell Tupling said the funds management company currently had about US$4.8bil assets under management and more than 60 products. 

“We are looking at a 30%-35% annual growth in terms of funds managed, ahead of the local unit trust industry which is growing at about 20-25%,” he said. 

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