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Monday, 19 June 2017 | MYT 7:47 PM

Banking sector outlook remains bright - Azman

KUALA LUMPUR: The banking sector outlook remains bright as it has been progressive the past quarter, says Tan Sri Azman Hashim, chairman of Malaysia’s sixth largest bank AMMB Holdings Bhd (AmBank Group).

“We are looking at sustaining and hopefully be better than last year,” he told reporters after presenting scholarships to 10 undergraduate students from the International Islamic University on Monday.

AmBank Group and RHB Bank, the country’s fourth largest lender had on June 1, 2017, jointly announced that they have received approval from Bank Negara Malaysia to start merger discussions, On the banking industry as a whole, Azman, opined that there is still room for more smaller banks to further consolidate.

“Mergers are driven by market forces. I imagine there is still some room for consolidation,” he said.

Azman said smaller-sized banks had to ask themselves on where they want to be (in the future).

“Do they want to remain the same size? When you are a smaller bank, it is said being small means being nimble. But there is also a case for size too,” he said.

Azman said the proposed merger between AmBank Group and RHB Bank is a “win-win deal” and advantageous for the two lenders, as it will then move the entity to be the fourth largest in the country, behind Public Bank Bhd, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and Malayan Banking Bhd.

“Still, we don’t know what the shape of the merged entities will be, and it is too early to comment on anything at this stage,” he added. - Bernama