CIMB Group insight to aid economic transformation
A nation in top gear towards economic transformation needs an equally dynamic financial sector to support its pursuit of high-income status. Among Malaysia's champions is CIMB Group, which has risen from a local investment institution to become a regional universal bank.
"As the country's second-largest lender, CIMB has an important role in supporting the government's ETP by providing lending support and facilitating access to the bond and equity markets," says Nazir Razak, group chief executive of CIMB Group.
CIMB was also involved in the ETP's financial services labs and working groups, with its own journey providing a rich insight for Malaysia's 2020 vision. Following its expansion and a series of mergers and acquisitions, CIMB grew its assets from US$4.4 billion in 2005 to more than US$101.3 billion in March.
Over the same period, the bank's workforce has grown from 1,000 to more than 40,000, and its market capitalisation has risen from US$1.3 billion to about US$17.6 billion. Maximising synergies and creating a distinctive franchise across its markets, CIMB also achieved the widest retail branch network in the Asean region.
The firm has consistently been ranked Asean's No 1 investment bank across various segments of the region's capital markets. It has also won the Euromoney Awards for Excellence for Best Investment Bank and Best Bank in Malaysia for the past three years.
"CIMB's Asean platform is uniquely positioned to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) elevate their businesses to the next level," Razak says. "As an organisation that has reaped the benefits of regionalisation, CIMB believes that access to regional markets, networks and enlarged economies of scale is crucial towards achieving global competitiveness."
Illustrating its regional agenda, the group established the CIMB CEOs' Club as a platform to help with dialogue and networking between Asean's most prominent SME owners and senior management. The bank hopes that such initiatives will help catalyse greater intra-regional economic activity and cross-border opportunities.
"We expect to see an increasing role in Asia for Malaysia's financial services sector in general - and we at CIMB expect to play a larger role across Asean and beyond," Razak says.