CIMB enters Philippines after receiving state approval


CIMB Group Holdings Bhd will open its first branch in the Philippines after its subsidiary unit, CIMB Bank Bhd, secured approval from the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Malaysia’s second-largest financial services provider said the first retail branch will be fully operational by the fourth quarter of next year.

CIMB group CEO Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz (picture) said following the liberalisation of the country’s banking sector, the Philippines is an attractive market to tap into.

“The Philippines offers plenty of opportunities with their progressive regulation, attractive demographics, relatively lower banking penetration, as well as good talents,” Tengku Zafrul said in a statement yesterday.

“Our plan is to apply the best of our digital assets from across the region, and work with local key strategic partners.”

CIMB is the first Malaysian banking group to be granted approval from the Philippines’ monetary authority after the country liberalised its banking sector in 2014.

The retail branch will operate under the Republic Act No 10641, that allows the entry of foreign banks into the Philippines through the establ ishment of whol ly owned operations with full banking authority.

CIMB’s entry into the Philippines puts the bank in 10 of South-East Asian countries: Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Brunei, Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos. The bank also has a presence in China, Hong Kong, India, Sri Lanka, South Korea, the US and the UK.

As of Sept 30 this year, CIMB oversees 900 branches in the whole of the Asean region.

“This will hopefully propel CIMB into becoming the leading Asean universal bank, which will further strengthen our value proposition to customers.”

CIMB’s share price dropped eight sen to RM5.92 with 11.86 million shares traded yesterday.