Malaysia's best international bank 2019: HSBC
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Malaysia's best international bank 2019: HSBC


Stuart Milne, CEO, HSBC Malaysia.jpg
Stuart Milne, HSBC

As HSBC pointed out in a survey that it distributed across Malaysia in May 2019: “Malaysians spend more time swooning over property than at the gym.”

They apparently devoted an average 4.37 hours a week in property-related activity (so-called property porn), the bank’s researchers claimed, noting that this was the highest level in southeast Asia.

So it is perhaps unsurprising then that HSBC is telegraphing its commitment to Malaysia with bricks and mortar in a massive new branded tower taking shape in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s emerging TRX complex.

TRX was one of the projects started by 1MDB and one of the few projects salvaged from the decade-long debacle. Slated to be finished by December 2020, the tower represents the first – and so far only –investment by a foreign bank in the TRX complex.

Standard Chartered, HSBC’s long-time rival in Malaysia, with its slogan ‘Here for good,’ is also on the move, albeit to rented floors in the re-developed Equatorial Plaza in downtown KL.

For good measure, HSBC handled a number of financing deals in the TRX precinct, notably a RM2.15 billion ($514 million) loan for the project’s overall developer.

Under chief executive Stuart Milne’s aegis, HSBC was the leading foreign bookrunner in ringgit bonds and sukuk in the year to May 2019, handling 20 issues worth a total of RM2.46 billion: that gives it a 41% market share, well ahead of its nearest foreign rival, Singapore’s OCBC, which booked RM1.9 billion across 39 deals, and almost five times more than StanChart.

Between the traditional bank and HSBC’s Amanah Islamic banking division, HSBC now boasts the widest network of any foreign bank in Malaysia, with 68 branches nationwide. Profit for HSBC’s most recently reported quarter, to March 31, 2019, was 2.1% higher at RM396 million.

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