BRANCH BANKING | Staff Reporter, Malaysia

Malaysian banks continue expansion into China

Five of Malaysia’s 10 so called “anchor banking groups” are already doing business in China.

Their bullishness about growth in China’s troubled banking sector comes amid speculation the sector is expected to undergo major consolidation in the next few years, according to Standard & Poor's.

Maybank, Malaysia’s largest bank, has branches in Beijing and Shanghai. The latter’s Pudong branch has been especially successful in drumming up business.

CIMB Bank, the consumer bank of CIMB Group, has a 19.99% stake in Bank of Yingkou Co Ltd and an investment banking business through CIMB Securities Hong Kong.

Bank of Yingkou, which is based in the city of Yingkou in Liaoning Province, plans to expand its operations throughout China. Public Bank Berhad, Malaysia’s leading bank in shareholder funds, bought Asia Commercial Bank in 2006 and renamed it Public Bank (Hong Kong).

Today, Public Bank (Hong Kong) focuses on expanding its retail and commercial banking business and on building its brand name through branch expansion and aggressive marketing.

Hong Leong Bank, which was founded in 1905 in Sarawak, bought a 20% stake in the Bank of Chengdu Co. Ltd, Sichuan, an investment that has proven profitable for Hong Leong. Affin Bank, Malaysia’s smallest anchor bank, intends to launch Islamic banking in China through its shareholder, Bank of East Asia.

Through its subsidiary, Affin Islamic Bank Berhad, the bank offers a range of Islamic banking products and services in the areas of enterprise and consumer banking.

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