Kuala Lumpur, 25 January 2007
Hong Leong Bank (HLB) conducted an Investors Conference for the benefit of offshore investors through its branch in Hong Kong. Entitled "Malaysia :Investment Destination of Choice", the conference attracted participation from a wide range of global asset managers, insurance companies and financialinstitutions. The conference was aimed to create awareness amongst the investing community in Hong Kong on developments in the equity and bond markets.
In her opening remarks, Yvonne Chia, Group Managing Director of HLB reiterated the positive sentiments of investors for continued growth in the Malaysianeconomy for 2007. "The economic momentum is expected to be driven by private sector spending and higher public expenditure with the roll out of MYR200billion (USD57 billion) in projects under the 9th Malaysian Plan," she added.
GDP growth is forecast to be 5.8% this year compared to 6.0% for 2006 underpinned by slower global demand. Nevertheless, expansion from fast-emergingmarkets namely China, India, Middle-East and Eastern Europe shall lend support to exports. Strengthening FDI flows which have doubled to USD5billion since1998 and pipelined M&A activities shall augur well for the performance of the ringgit against US dollar and further boost optimism in the KL CompositeIndex.
The Malaysian financial markets have also begun to reap the rewards of the structured and sequenced implementation of the Financial Sector and CapitalMarket Master Plans which was instrumental in providing the impetus to Malaysia's rapid recovery since the Asian financial crisis. In line with this, theMalaysian banking sector continues to prepare for greater foreign participation, already evident in the issuing of Islamic bank and takaful licenses byBank Negara Malaysia to international Islamic financial institutions in recent years.
Hong Leong Bank is one of 9 anchor banks in Malaysia with a network of more than 180 branches nationwide, including one in Singapore and Hong Kongrespectively. Hong Leong Bank is now well positioned to provide the whole breadth of financial services to non-resident investors looking to tap into theMalaysian capital markets through its treasury unit, HL Markets in Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong or Singapore.
Press Release - 25/01/2007