PETALING JAYA: CIMB GROUP HOLDINGS BHD group chief executive Datuk Seri Nazir Razak is expecting the impending Budget 2014 to emphasise on rejuvenating the health of the country’s fiscal condition.
“Budget 2014 is going to be the most challenging budget so far in terms of Government spend management and introducing new initiatives to increase Government revenues,” he said.
Budget 2014 is slated to be announced on Friday, Oct 25.
Nazir pointed out that it was crucial for the Government to get the budget right, stressing that the health of the Government’s financial position would determine the country’s sovereign rating.
He said any additional incentives and handouts should not be expected, given the Government’s circumstances in dealing with its financial deficit.
“We have gone through a long period of incentives and we have a collective interest to make sure that we put the public finances as priority.
“If the Government gets that wrong, then it would have a negative impact on the ratings outlook, which would impact the cost of borrowing of corporates and individuals,” he told reporters after the launch of CIMB Bank’s latest electronic payment system, “Plug n Pay”.
Plug n Pay is Malaysia’s first-ever chip-based mobile point-of-sale solution that offers businesses of any size an affordable yet secure way to manage electronic payments using their smartphones and tablets.
By simply plugging in the portable Plug n Pay card reader into their mobile devices, businesses can readily accept chip or signature-based credit and debit cards and safely conduct transactions using the Plug n Pay mobile app.
Nazir said the initiative was in line with the Government’s efforts to promote the adoption of electronic payments and to reduce the dependency on cash transactions for greater economic efficiency.
He is optimistic on the take-up rate of the payment solution, quoting global research findings that global point-of-sale solutions would double in the next three to five years from 30 million units currently, mainly driven by new technological development.
Already available in the market, the Plug n Pay device is priced at RM250 each and can accept any MasterCard and VISA-branded cards. The mobile app is available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
The Plug n Pay device is deployed by Soft Space Sdn Bhd, which earlier this year launched its mobile card payment technology with Thailand-based Kasikornbank.
Meanwhile, according to a Bernama news report, CIMB Thai Bank Pcl recorded a consolidated net profit of 960.6 million baht (RM97.82mil) for the nine months ended Sept 30 down 18.8% or 221.6 million baht from the same period last year.
The decrease was mainly due to the absence of the shared gains from Thai Asset Management Corp (TAMC) of 1.34 billion baht that was recorded in the first nine months of 2012, said Subhak Siwaraksa, president and chief executive officer of CIMB Thai Bank in a statement issued by CIMB Group yesterday.
Excluding the one-off gain from TAMC, the gain on the sale of a subsidiary and legal claims paid in the nine months of last year, and a gain from payback from a liquidated subsidiary in the nine months of this year, the CIMB Thai group would have recorded a consolidated net profit growth of 29.1% year-on-year (y-o-y) for the first nine months of 2013, he said.
Meanwhile, net interest income (NII) and net fee and service income expanded strongly, with NII increasing by 949.0 million baht or 25.2% y-o-y, largely underlined by loan expansion.
Net fee and service income increased by 274.4 million baht or 47.7%.
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