Malayan Banking Bhd group president and chief executive officer, Datuk Abdul Farid Alias is positive on Budget 2018.

KUALA LUMPUR: The 2018 Budget is positive for the consumption, infrastructure, tourism and finance sectors, Malayan Banking Bhd group president and CEO Datuk Abdul Farid Alias said.

“We are also encouraged by the government's continuing support for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) through funding and credit provisions, and also providing tax exemptions for capital markets covering a broad range of activities, products and investors such as ETFs, structured warrants, social & responsible investing, venture capitalist and angel investors for the capital markets,” he added.

Farid, who is also chairman of the Association of Banks in Malaysia, said the budget continues to address the government's objective of boosting disposable incomes for the B40 to ease cost of living pressures and support consumer spending.

“We are happy to see Government continuing with its prudent approach in fiscal management as can be seen by the gradual improvement in our fiscal deficit. We acknowledge that this is extremely challenging to execute when external markets continue to be volatile, while at the same time trying to minimize the negative impact on the domestic market and the general population,” he said in a statement.

Maybank, the country’s biggest lender, said Budget 2018 has plenty of measures to help Malaysians prepare themselves for the demands of the future.

These include developing more infrastructure in logistics, preparing for and promoting the digital economy, boosting productivity and automation, as well as focusing on human capital development and investment by further enhancing science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and coding in the education system, and Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET).

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