CEO Morning Brief

Zafrul Tells Financial Sector to Play More Active Role in Malaysia’s Reform Agendas

Publish date: Fri, 14 Jun 2024, 10:30 AM
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TheEdge CEO Morning Brief

KUALA LUMPUR (June 13): Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz has asked the financial sector to play a more active role in Malaysia’s structural reform agendas, mainly the New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030) and the recently launched National Semiconductor Strategy.

Zafrul, who previously helmed CIMB Group Holdings Bhd (KL:CIMB) as its group chief executive officer, reiterated that the NIMP 2030 will require an estimated total investment of RM95 billion over the next seven years, of which the government had allocated RM8.2 billion.

“While the figures may be daunting, I call upon the banking and financial sector to rise to the challenge, and take this opportunity to create impactful change,” Zafrul said virtually at Bank Negara Malaysia’s Sasana Symposium 2024 on Thursday.

Noting that financial institutions have always looked at shorter-term gains, he called on the financial sector to also “take a more long-term perspective in funding the structural reform agendas”.

“As a former banker, I am fully convinced that this will be a 'win-win' for financial institutions,” he said.

“Securing Malaysia’s future sustainable growth is also securing future income streams for banks and financial institutions,” Zafrul added.

Meanwhile, Malayan Banking Bhd (KL:MAYBANK) group president and CEO Datuk Khairussaleh Ramli acknowledged that the government's structural reforms could benefit banks and the respective sectors.

However, he noted that banks should also consider several things, such as risk criteria and supply chain mechanisms when financing the new sectors.

“The mission under the NIMP 2030, for example, is to be part of the global supply chain. From a banking point of view, how do we support companies in Malaysia to have access to financing or credit, with the view that there is a bigger ecosystem of principals and buyers?” Khairussaleh said virtually during a panel discussion at the symposium.

“There is a lot [of reform agendas] that have been announced [by the government], and for us to really digest. I think it is all about us making sure that we are ready,” he added.

Source: TheEdge - 14 Jun 2024

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