AmBank eyes minimum 15 pct growth in loans to SMEs this year

Posted on : 23-03-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: AmBank (M) Bhd aims to see a minimum of 15% growth in loans to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for this year, said its group chief executive officer Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir.

He said the target would be driven by retail, corporate and SME asset financing as well as an increase in infrastructure loan demand amid progressive Malaysian economic background.

“Overall, last year’s growth was slow. It was not in double figures; after some (corporate) restructuring in October 2016, there was a monthly growth of 1%-2%,” he said.

Sulaiman said this to reporters after the signing of SME portfolio guarantee (SPG) agreement for an additional financing of RM200mil with Credit Guarantee Corp (M) Bhd (CGC) in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.
He said the group’s overall loan growth target for 2017 was about 6%-7%, backed by the country’s positive gross domestic product figures.

The financing for eligible SMEs, via AmBanks SME Banking, is part of Tranche 2, an extended scheme from RM150mil in Tranche 1, launched in September 2016, which was fully-subscribed within five months.

Sulaiman said Tranche 2, which has been available since Feb 22, 2017, has disbursed 8% of the amount thus far.

He said it was expected to be also fully subscribed within five months, considering the SPG was much sought-after by SMEs.

Under this scheme, SMEs can apply for financing facilities of up to RM1mil from AmBank SME with repayment tenure of up to seven years.

CGC will guarantee 70% of the principal financing amount.

“Overall, AmBank SME Business and CGC have allocated a total of RM350mil to-date to support the SME businesses in providing working capital financing to qualified borrowers who lack collateral,” said Sulaiman.

CGC president/chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Zamree Mohd Ishak said: “This is our fourth portfolio guarantee (PG) strategic partnership with AmBank and to-date, we have availed RM950mil worth of financing via our PG scheme and we look forward to many opportunities to further increase access to SME financing in Malaysia.”

Mohd Zamree said such initiatives would hasten the achievement of CGC’s aspiration to be a household name for SMEs by 2020.


Maybank partners Alipay to provide contactless payments convenience

Posted on : 23-03-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

MAYBANK has entered into a strategic partnership with Ant Financial Services Group (Ant Financial) of China to provide Alipay users travelling in Malaysia with contactless payment service which can be used in various outlets ranging from high-end department stores, duty free outlets to hotels popular with Chinese visitors.

This tie-up will provide a payment service that is swift, seamless and secure.

Operated by Ant Financial, Alipay is a mobile payment platform and lifestyle app with 450 million users in China and beyond.

The strategic partnership was formalised at an event witnessed by the Prime Minster of Malaysia, Najib Razak and Digital Economic Advisor to the Malaysian Government Jack Ma.

With them were Ant Financial Services Group chairman Lucy Peng and Maybank group technology officer Mohd Suhail Amar Suresh.

Representing Maybank for the MOU was group strategy officer Michael Foong while Alipay was represented by Ant Financial senior vice president Douglas Feagin.

Foong said that Maybank is honoured to partner with Ant Financial and facilitate contactless payments by Alipay customers from China who make purchases at selected merchants in Malaysia.

“As a leader in card payments, Maybank will now offer Alipay customers the added convenience and security of our comprehensive cashless payment channels, thereby expanding the geographical reach of their digital wallets and enhancing their travel experience in this country,” he adds.

“Given Maybank’s leading position in the Malaysian market, we believe we can provide Alipay customers even greater payment access throughout Malaysia and our customers will have greater peace of mind when transacting on Maybank’s card payment platforms which are quick and secure”, says Feagin.

The new service, available from May 2017 onwards will see Alipay accepted at Maybank card merchants such as Parkson, Royal Selangor, Duty Free Zone, Eraman and Genting.

Foong added that more merchants are currently being processed for enrolment into this program to ensure that Alipay users can have greater payment convenience when in Malaysia.

Maybank is the leader in merchant sales volume in Malaysia with 37% market share and continues to grow this business aggressively.

Maybank offers the complete suite of all major card payment brands viz. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, UnionPay, JCB and MyDebit.


ACCCIM (Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry) upbeat about 2017 economic outlook

Posted on : 23-03-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR— The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) is upbeat about the country’s economic prospects for 2017, supported by increases in sales and production compared with last year’s figures.

“Exports are starting to pick up marginally since last year and ACCCIM members believe there will be investments in the first half of 2017,” said

Peck Boon Soon, member of Economic Survey Unit of Commerce Committee.

He said this at a media briefing on ACCCIM’s survey on the economic situation of Malaysia for the second half of 2016.

Peck said according to the survey results, 72 per cent of the respondents said that their firms’ sales were either ‘good’ or ‘satisfactory’, meaning that the businesses were able to sustain through the trough.

On the manufacturing sector, 75 per cent of the respondents said their performances were somewhat ‘improved’ or ‘sustained’, he said, adding that seven per cent in the wholesale and retail sectors reported ‘improvements’.

“The marginal improvement in sales performance may be attributed to the slight expansion in the Malaysian economy, where it has shown continued growth over the past quarters of 2016.

“Malaysia’s economic performance continues to be largely supported by private sector demand, which too, has shown continued positive growth to record 6.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016,” Peck said.

ACCCIM President, Datuk Ter Leong Yap, said he was optimistic about the economic outlook for the year despite the cautious sentiment among stakeholders in the business community.

He said 35.3 per cent of the respondents said they were optimistic or somewhat optimistic.

In tandem with improvement in sales, the survey showed that 66 per cent of the respondents indicated their production had improved or held stable.

The respondents who forecast reduced production volumes in the next six months remained at 33 per cent compared with 40 per cent in the previous corresponding year.

According to the survey, there was greater expectation and confidence in the Malaysian economy by 2019, with the economic situation slowly nursing its way through 2017 and 2018.

The survey aims to gauge the economic situation faced by Chinese business community in the period concerned.

It covers four major areas—Malaysian economic situation in Second Half of 2016; factors affecting business performance; economic outlook and current issues; and, challenges in relation to trade, investment and industrial development in Malaysia.


Envoy: M’sia businesses to benefit from EU-FTA

Posted on : 23-03-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian businesses will benefit from the Malaysia-European Union (EU) Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which is expected to be finalised by year-end, says Spain’s Ambassador to Malaysia, Carlos Dominguez.

Currently, only a handful of Malaysian firms have businesses in Spain, he said.

“The companies are involved in sectors such as ceramics, construction and petrochemicals,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the forum themed, ‘How to Expand Your Small- and Medium-sized Enterprise Business to Europe’ here today.

Second International Trade and Industries Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan, had said recently the FTA negotiations were expected to be finalised after Malaysia resumed the talks with the EU in late 2016.

Dominguez said the event aimed to create awareness among Malaysian businesses and encourage them to tap the various sectors in Spain, such as agriculture, fishery, engineering and services.

He said currently, Spain imposed a relatively competitive corporate tax of 25 per cent on foreign companies.

“Now it still easy for them to tap the EU countries despite the FTA talks still ongoing, as the region is an open market for businesses,” he said.

Dominguez said to-date, there were about 50 Spanish firms registered under Malaysian Spanish Chamber of Commerce and Industry, up from 23 a few years ago.

“We hope the number of Malaysian businesses in Spain will rise also,” he said.

Last year, the bilateral trade between Malaysia and Spain stood at EUR1.5 billion (EUR1 = RM4.78) from EUR1.6 billion in 2015.


Najib: 2017 GDP to be slightly higher than 4.2%

Posted on : 23-03-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia expects to record a slightly higher Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth this year from the 4.2% achieved last year, Prime Minister Najib Razak said today.

He also expects growth to rise in 2018.

The government had earlier forecast that the economy would grow between 4% and 5% in 2017.

These figures showed that the Malaysian economy was growing more than double the rates the International Monetary Fund had predicted for advanced economies over the same time period, Najib said in a keynote address at the Global Transformation Forum here today.

Najib reiterated that Malaysia was firmly on the path to become a high-income nation.

“This is why all the major rating agencies such as Fitch, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s have reaffirmed Malaysia as being in the ‘A’ category.

“Let’s turn to the International Monetary Fund, one of the most respected institutions in the world. Its latest assessment of Malaysia said that the country’s economy continues to perform well, despite significant headwinds, and has made significant progress towards achieving high-income status,” he said.

The prime minister also quoted PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ recent report which predicted that Malaysia would have the 25th highest GDP in the world, measured by purchasing power parity, by 2030 – and the 24th by 2050.

“So top 20 is within our grasp,” said Najib.

Meanwhile, this year’s Global Transformation Forum features, among others, the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, Sir Richard Branson, the Founder of Virgin Group and also Jack Ma, the Founder of Alibaba Group.

Ma is Malaysia’s digital economic adviser.

Najib said Ma would share his ideas and experience to spearhead Malaysia’s economy through the development of the Digital Free Trade Zone – that would be the world’s first.

“We will be launching the Digital Free Trade Zone later today. I’m excited,” he added.

The Zone will benefit entrepreneurs by offering a conducive environment for digital companies to carry out business – invigorating Internet-based innovation and thus catalysing the Malaysian economy.

The initiative is part of the recently launched National E-commerce Strategic Roadmap that aims to double the country’s e-commerce growth from 10.8% to 20.8% by 2020.


Alibaba set to transform KLIA Aeropolis into eFulfillment hub

Posted on : 23-03-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National

KUALA LUMPUR – China’s Alibaba Group is set to transform up to 45 hectares at KLIA Aeropolis into an eFulfillment hub, an e-commerce and logistics hub to facilitate faster clearance of imports and exports.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the establishment of the hub, which was in line with Malaysia’s roadmap for transformation into a digital economy, would be the first in the world outside China.

“Hangzhou is the hub for China and Aeropolis is for Malaysia and Association of South-East Asian Nations. We will make this (hub) exciting and big,” he said at the launch of the Digital Free-Trade Zone (DGTZ) here today.

The eFulfillment hub is part of Malaysia’s DGTZ initiative.

Later, at a press conference, Malaysia Digital Economy Corp’s (MDEC) Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Yasmin Mahmood, said the physical zone would be located at the eight-hectare site in Aeropolis, which was previously the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal.

Under the memorandum of understanding signed today between Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd and Alibaba’s logistics affiliate, Cainiao Network, the giant retail commerce company would also be looking at possible extension into the 37ha that adjourned the site, she said.

She said the initial phase of the eFulfillment hub would be rolled out before year-end.

On the projected spending, Alibaba Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Zhang, said there were no specific amount as of now given the hub was designed for a long-term commitment.

“We will have tangible investment which is in the hub and other intangible assets such as the knowledge, experience, and technology. This will benefit the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia,” he said.

Zhang said Malaysia’s similar vision with Alibaba in terms of digitalisation, coupled with its strategic location, were the reasons the country was picked as its regional hub.

DFTZ is an initiative to capitalise on the confluence and exponential growth of the Internet economy and cross-border e-commerce activities.

It consists of three main components that combine both physical and virtual zones.

The physical zone comprises the eFulfillment hub and satellite services hub, while the virtual zone consists of the eServices platform.

Najib had earlier said the independent satellite services hub facility would be located in Bandar Malaysia.

“Malaysia will offer 500,000 sq ft of Bandar Malaysia for SMEs, entrepreneurs, accelerators and venture firms to set up their businesses there.

“They will under one roof in Bandar Malaysia,” he said.


Local prowees in science and technology must be appreciated

Posted on : 23-03-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National

SINTOK — There must be appreciation and confidence in the ability of Malaysians in science and technology to enable the country to continue spurring successes in both fields.

Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau said some quarters still doubted the prowess of Malaysians in creating products which were recognised as high technologies.

“The time has come for a change of this attitude. We (local-born) actually have many skills in numerous technological fields but most are still not appreciated.

“For example, the seismic rubber bearings which are widely used in Malaysia and, in fact, several other countries were invented by the Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre.

“So, we should emulate South Korea and Japan which despite having only land and their people, and were at one time poor, are still proud of their own products and technology which make them progressive today,” he said.

He said this to reporters after launching the Mosti Social Innovation Project (MSI) – Agrosis, Entrepreneurship Awareness Programme and Agriculture Economy through Schizophyllum Commune (cendawan kukur) Planting Project on the University Utara Malaysia (UUM) agrofarm site here, today.

Throughout the implementation of the project, Norsym Sdn Bhd, an MTDC Fund recipient, will conduct courses and provide basic ways on how to cultivate the mushroom.

In the meantime, Madius lauded Malaysia’s participation at international level in inventing technologies related to oil palm via robotics innovations organised by the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities.


Jack Ma: Malaysia efficient, Business-Friendly nation

Posted on : 23-03-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National

KUALA LUMPUR: Alibaba Group founder and executive chairman Jack Ma has described Malaysia as an efficient and very business-friendly nation to establish digital economy collaborations.

“Many asked me why I chose Malaysia to work together on the digital free trade zone (DFTZ).

“I told them that Malaysia is very business-friendly and much more efficient than I thought,” he said in his opening speech before jointly launching the DFTZ with Prime Minister Najib Razak here today.

Ma said the Multimedia Super Corridor project inspired him to pursue the digital world idea and made Alibaba and Malaysia establish the e-hub near Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

“The DFTZ is the first digital free trade zone outside China, which will be utilising new technology to empower small businesses and young entrepreneurs.

“There will be a logistic hub to cater for the e-commerce business with a one stop service centre.

“It can grow to become a regional logistic hub that could deliver packages within 72 hours in the next 20 years.”

He was optimistic that a digital economy would help increase gross domestic product (GDP) contribution from small businesses in Malaysia to at least 80%.

Currently, small businesses in Malaysia contributed less than 40% of the nation’s GDP with small and medium-sized enterprises accounting for about 97% of total businesses.


M’sian companies in Asean and newcomers advised to contact Matrade for assistance

Posted on : 22-03-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

Malaysian companies currently operating in Indonesia, as well as newcomers wanting to set up operations in the country, are advised to contact the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) for assistance. Matrade Trade Commissioner in Jakarta, Naim Abdul Rahman said the office here would assist and facilitate the Malaysian companies to tap the huge Indonesian market.

“Getting advice from Matrade and utilising the existing network of Malaysian diaspora in the country is very important,” he said when met at a session with the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) in Jakarta.


Rise in residential loan indicators a good sign

Posted on : 21-03-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

Improvements are seen in residential loan indicators for January 2017, whereby residential loans applied and approved data came in at 3.4 and 12.5 per cent year on year (y-o-y) respectively despite loans-to-deposit ratios (LDR) remaining at a record high at 89.8 per cent.
For residential loans applied, this marks the third consecutive month of positive year to date y-o-y movements while for residential loans approved data, this is the first positive month of growth in two years, which is very encouraging.

The team with Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd believe this could be largely driven by higher supply of affordable homes in the market from the government and private sector.

“In terms of the ratio of property loans applied to approved, it was still relatively low at 41 per cent, with property loans to total banking system approvals ratio is still lethargic at 34 per cent,” it added.

Kenanga Research’s industry survey still indicates that banking liquidity to the sector remains challenging although some industry players have cited that ‘quality buyers’ are emerging, improving the odds of loans approvals.

Overall, property sales growth is starting to look healthier as Kenanga Research’s universe is indicating five per cent y-o-y growth for FY17 to FY18E, thanks largely to Sunsuria Bhd, Eco World Development Group Bhd and IOI Properties Group Bhd, which are showing significant growth while the others are mainly flattish.

“We expect overall Malaysia residential sales, the biggest driver of the property market, to see flattish changes in transacted values in 2017.”

This also means that the odds of developers missing their sales targets are less likely this year, it added.

“As investors are forward looking, they pay less attention on earnings and turn their attention towards headline sales numbers, which some are seeing growth while others are largely flat.

“In fact, this year we may see developers exceeding sales targets, which will be much welcomed after the lull over 2015-16. At this juncture, it is too early to say which developers will positively surprise and the critical check-point is if developers can strongly deliver sales in 1H17. Hence, we make no revisions to our developers’ sales assumptions or estimates for now.”

Although the sector is still lacking catalyst, Kenanga Research called on investors to “ride on the broad market sentiment now”, particularly on developers with risks that have been mostly priced-in.


Lazada M’sia overtakes Lazada Singapore as fastest-growing e-commerce platform

Posted on : 21-03-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: Lazada Malaysia has overtaken Lazada Singapore to become the fastest-growing e-commerce platform for the past nine months in Southeast Asia.

Lazada Malaysia Chief Executive Officer, Hans-Peter Ressel, said Lazada Malaysia recorded over 100 per cent growth in sales for 2016.

“With the logistics facilities such as roads and trains, flights, as well as the existence of local and foreign courier companies, this shows that Malaysia’s e-commerce market is well-developed,” he told reporters after launching Lazada Malaysia’s Fifth Birthday Campaign here today.


M’sia ranks second in ASEAN for IP (Intellectual Property) protection

Posted on : 21-03-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia ranks second in Asean and 19th in the world in terms of intellectual property (IP) protection for countries assessed in the latest US Chamber International IP Index.

The index measures the level of IP protection in a country based on 35 indicators and benchmarks the IP standards in 45 global economies which cover roughly 90% of global gross domestic product.

Among Asean countries covered in the index – which in its fifth edition released last month – Malaysia ranked only behind Singapore, and ahead of Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

“Malaysia has always been committed to improving the IP environment to be competitive regionally and globally.
“While Malaysia’s ranking should be positively recognised, the Government and private sector should continue to strive for a better IP ranking in the coming years,” president of the Asean Intellectual Property Association (Asean IPA), Chew Phye Keat, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Asean IPA, a private sector-based association with Asean non-governmental organisation status and dedicated to supporting IP protection in the region, lauded Malaysias IP efforts and progress.

Chew said protecting IP rights and safeguarding innovation is key to making Malaysia more attractive to foreign investors.

“The Malaysian government with its various agencies, truly understands the importance of IP protection and so far, always walks the talk,” he added.

Also noteworthy is the creation of Khazanah Harta Intelek Malaysia, a centralised repository of intellectual property to facilitate and spur commercialisation.

This is alongside the Malaysian Intellectual Property Corp (MyIPO), in progressing various initiatives to streamline trademark application and registration processes.

As a result, trademark applications have soared in the past decade, up from 25,894 in 2007 to 39,107 last year as registrations have also increased from 25,490 to 32,806 in the same period.

Meanwhile, Chew said the IP Index this year highlighted the issue of discrimination and restrictions on the use of brands in the packaging of different products.

Last year, the US Chamber of Commerce report, “Creation of a Contemporary Global Measure of Physical Counterfeiting 2016” warned that a likely adverse impact of plain packaging is the emergence of counterfeiting.

“In the absence of brands and trademarks as a form of product differentiation, counterfeits can be more easily manufactured and consumers are more likely to end up buying and consuming these products,” Chew said.

He said the Malaysian government’s ongoing efforts at curbing these activities and a continued holistic approach, which encompasses trademarks protection and effective enforcement, would be the key to further improving Malaysia’s IP ranking and reputation globally.


Malaysia ranked fourth happiest country in Asia

Posted on : 21-03-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is now the fourth happiest country in Asia, according to this year’s World Happiness Report.

The latest raking also put Malaysia as the 42nd happiest country among 155 nations, five places up from last year’s report.

Other neighbouring countries which saw a more cheery placing included Thailand (32 from 33), Taiwan (33 from 42 ), Vietnam (94 from 96) and the Philippines (72 from 82).

Singaporeans appeared to be a less delighted lot in the past year, falling from 22nd place to 26th.

The top 10 happiest places remained somewhat the same.

Norway, the Land of the Midnight Sun, is right on top, followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland.

The report, which started in 2012, is produced by the Sustainable Solutions Network and relies on data gathered by the Gallup World Poll.

“All of the top four countries rank highly on all the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance,” the report said.

Countries are ranked using three-year averages of data collected with the latest report covering 2014-2016.

Some 3,000 respondents from each country were asked to rate their life evaluations.

By the way, you may not want to be in Central African Republic, Burundi and Tanzania.

These are the three unhappiest countries in the world, according to the report.


Najib to launch Digital Free-Trade Zone on Wednesday

Posted on : 21-03-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will launch the first Digital Free-Trade Zone on Wednesday.

Deputy minister of International Trade and Industry (Miti) Datuk Ahmad Maslan told Parliament today, the event will also see the presence of Alibaba founder, Jack Ma.

He said this when replying to a question from Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Leo Michael Toyad Abdullah (BN-Mukah)on the strategic framework being undertaken by Miti to ride the Industry 4.0 wave, as it could enhance the country’s income to RM2 trillion in the next seven to eight years.

The Digital Free-Trade Zone, a brainchild of Najib, is being planned to encourage more people to join the country’s e-commerce sector.

The implementation of the first Digital Free-Trade Zone in the world was unveiled in the 2017 Budget.

Internet tycoon Jack Ma was appointed Malaysia’s digital economy adviser by Najib during his official to China last year, and to help spearhead the country’s e-commerce development.

The Digital Free-Trade Zone will merge physical and virtual zones, with additional online and digital services to facilitate international e-commerce and invigorate Internet-based innovation.

Ahmad said Malaysia as a country that depended on trade needed to enhance its value chain to become a high quality factory base through the use of technology to effectively compete at both the regional and global levels.

“As such, the government has a number of initiatives related to Industry 4.0 including declaring 2017 as the Malaysia Internet Economy Year,’ he added.

Industry 4.0 encourages companies to use automation and exchange data in manufacturing technology that creates smart plants, with machines linked to the Internet and a system that can capture the overall production chain.

Ahmad said the contribution of Malaysia’s digital economy to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) had reached 17.8 per cent in 2015 and almost realised the targeted 18.2 per cent set for 2020.

“A sum of RM162 million was allocated in Budget 2017 for various programmes as e-Commerce ecosystem and the Digital Maker Movement, as well as identifying a new location for the Digital Hub Malaysia,” he added.


MDEC: Malaysia good test bed for fintech solution

Posted on : 21-03-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is an interesting test bed for financial technology (FinTech) solutions as it has a lot of emerging markets, said Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) chief executive officer, Datuk Yasmin Mahmood.

However, she said the country still needs a lot more startup companies, not only having ideas, but also the discipline to run the business, including managing the financial position and ensuring returns to investors.

“There is still a long way to go. But, I think the realisation is there.We are seeing Malaysian startups already expanding their presence outside the country, while selling their solutions and then coming back to the country.

“We are also seeing strong support from the banking industry,” she told reporters at Finnovasia here today.
The two-day Finnovasia is the pioneer global Fintech conference in Malaysia and brings together, speakers and practitioners involved in the sector, while covering the areas of business development, disruption and innovation.

Yasmin said MDEC hopes to build a better ecosystem in Malaysia, and suggested more opportunities in this innovation area, including analytics and the Internet of things (IoT).

She said in the last six to 12 months, the agency had started to see a strong momentum in the FinTech industry, both from solution providers and the adoption side.

Earlier, in her opening remarks, Yasmin said as a key global player in Islamic Finance, FinTech players in Malaysia can launch and serve a different market.

“This includes FinTech startups and companies who previously have yet to enter into FinTech for Islamic Finance. They can test and launch Shariah-compliant products in Malaysia for the region as well as global market.

“Fintech is new to us, but it will not stop us from creating an organised ecosystem that understands how engagement with start-ups, investors, and other innovators from around the world build value,” she added.

Yasmin said that MDEC hopes to use the FinTech space as a launch pad to connect Malaysia with the rest of the world in the sector, while creating access to foreign start-ups, investors, and related players globally.

On the local front, it aims to help financial services transform the way businesses are conducted in the future.