KUALA LUMPUR: Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank Group) does not expect to be deeply impacted by the ongoing trade spat between China and the US, as its exposure to trade in Asia’s largest economy is only three per cent.
Nevertheless, Maybank group president and chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Farid Alias is optimistic that cooler heads will prevail and an all-out trade war will be averted.
“The story is still evolving and we are watching what these two nations will do in reaction to each other. However, we are optimistic that cooler heads will prevail and we might not even see an all-out trade war,” Abdul Farid said at a press conference after Maybank’s 58th Annual General Meeting (AGM) here today
He said Maybank’s presence in Greater China is through Shanghai, Beijing, Kunming and Shenzhen, where the bank’s business is mainly in debt and commodities.
“At three per cent, there are no impact as of right now,” Abdul Farid said.
The threat of a potential trade war between the world's two biggest economies has been brewing in recent months following tit-for-tat announcements of huge tariffs on certain products.
Last week, US President Donald Trump threatened to impose US$100 billion of additional tariffs on top of the newly introduced US$50 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods, claiming that China is stealing US intellectual property. China responded by announcing US$50 billion worth of tariffs on US goods.
Maybank first established presence in China back in 1993 with the set-up of its Beijing Representative Office.
Meanwhile, on the newly formed MBSB Bank Bhd, Abdul Farid said the new entity which is now the country's second largest Islamic bank after Maybank Islamic Bhd, will not cut into the group's Islamic’s business.
“Maybank Islamic's business goes beyond housing loans alone, though that is a big chunk of it. We are also in retail and very strong in corporate and a leader in global Sukuk issuances,” he said.
“We have also seen our Islamic business growing in Indonesia through PT Bank Maybank Syariah Indonesia, and is now at the same kind of momentum that we have seen in the early days in Malaysia.”
The group declared a final single-tier dividend of 32 sen for financial year ended 31st December 2017 at the AGM.