Maybank Investment Bank expects Malaysia’s capital market to be bullish in 2017 with the issuance of local bonds expected to be between MYR80bn and MYR85bn (USD18bn and USD19.1 bn).
Chief Executive Officer Datuk John Chong said the bullish outlook was based on the number of capital raising plans last year that have been pushed to this year.
Chong added that there was a healthy pipeline of initial public offerings and fund-raising exercises to fill the market throughout the year. In 2016, there were 11 local IPOs that raised MYR596.6m, barely 14% of the MYR4.35bn raised in 2015.
Some MYR3.94bn were raised via IPOs in 2014. The number of IPOs in 2016 was the same as the year before, which is the lowest since 1989, when there were 13 IPOs.
Maybank expects the ASEAN-6 economies which comprised Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, to grow by 4.8% in 2017 and 4.9% in 2018, picking up from the estimated 4.6% in 2016.
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Qatar National Bank Focuses on Southeast Asia
Meanwhile, Qatar National Bank (QNB) is setting its eyes on Southeast Asia as another potential area for its expansion goals, following its foray into the Africa and Middle East markets.
CEO Ali Al Kuwari expressed optimism that the business environment in the Southeast Asian region will be great for the Qatar-based lender.
According to him, the bank will tap opportunities as long as they are consistent with its strategy, although QNB is not really that active in terms of pursuing large acquisition deals.
QNB has operations across 30 countries. As part of its thrust to strengthen Asian business, it will soon boost its presence India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar.
Likewise, it will turn its Singapore operation into an Asian hub, adding staff there and introducing Islamic finance products.
It also plans to open a branch in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital, this year. Over the past five year, the bank was able to double its assets to USD198bn. – BusinessNewsAsia.com