Maybank’s flagship event, Invest ASEAN, will be held from June 10 -13, 2024 in Penang for the first time, with the overarching theme “ASEAN Frontiers: The New Trailblazers”.

Invest ASEAN will feature 60 corporates from ASEAN with a total market capitalisation of $146 billion and is attended by 145 Malaysian and foreign institutional investors with a total of $8 trillion in assets under management.

The event kicked off on Monday by showcasing Penang as a global semiconductor powerhouse and will be followed by two Corporate Days of ASEAN corporate-investor meetings, and a final day visiting landmark property projects and technology players.

The first day’s program, “Penang: Malaysia’s High Tech Powerhouse”, supported by InvestPenang, was graced by the Chief Minister of Penang, Chow Kon Yeow and Deputy Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry of Malaysia, Liew Chin Tong.

At the event on June 10 were (seated from left): Loo Lee Lian, Chief Executive Officer of InvestPenang; Dr Hasnita Hashim, Chairman of Maybank Investment Bank Bhd; Chow Kon Yeow, Chief Minister of Penang; Liew Chin Tong, Deputy Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Malaysia; Professor Dr Ong Kian Ming, Board Member of Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA); John Chong, Group Chief Executive Officer, Global Banking, Maybank (standing, fourth from left), Michael Oh-Lau, Chief Executive Officer, Maybank Investment Banking Group (standing, first from right) and Board Members of Maybank Investment Bank.

By hosting Invest ASEAN in Penang, Maybank is bringing investors and corporates to witness firsthand the advancements taking place as Malaysia emerges as a beneficiary of the US-China chip war and electronics exports growth.

John Chong, Group CEO of Global Banking, Maybank said, “Based on our engagements with clients at Invest ASEAN, they are showing more optimism in ASEAN especially for Malaysia owing to catalysts such as investments in technology in Penang, renewable energy, Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone talks, and the reconfiguration of supply chains to ASEAN.”

Michael Oh-Lau, CEO of Maybank Investment Banking Group said, “The optimism in ASEAN’s prospects is translating into a healthy pipeline of deal activity. As a result of supply chain shifts, we are also seeing interests from companies pursuing the China-plus-one or plus-many strategy to acquire or partner with local companies in ASEAN. With Maybank’s presence in all 10 ASEAN markets and China, we are well-placed to facilitate cross-border transactions.”

According to Maybank IBG Research, the broadening global electronics demand, spurred by the AI boom, has supported a modest economic recovery in the first half of 2024 and is brightening the second half outlook for the ASEAN-6 markets (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand,Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines).

Maybank IBG Research forecasts ASEAN-6 GDP growth recovering to 4.5 percent in 2024 and 4.7 percent in 2025 from 4 percent in 2023.

In Malaysia, the economy is expected to expand at a faster pace of 4.7 percent this year versus 3.6 percent last year, on external trade rebound and robust investments, especially foreign direct investments.

This trend is expected to continue as shifts in manufacturing supply chains away from China to ASEAN are showing no signs of abating as a result of the US-China geopolitical rivalry.

Share of US imports from ASEAN has risen to 10 percent in 2023 from 7.3 percent in 2018 when tensions started. In contrast, China’s share of US imports has fallen sharply to 14 percent in 2023 from 21 percent in 2018.

Another visible trend is that ASEAN companies continue to invest in mitigating ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) risks.

Chong said, “At Maybank, we focus on transition finance where we can have the most impact to assist our clients in their sustainability journey. With a transition finance framework in place, one of the first of its kind in ASEAN, we are able to guide brown industries to shift to green.”

Oh-Lau added, “There continues to be growing recognition for sustainable investments in ASEAN. The pipeline of sustainable finance deals is notably in the energy, power and real estate sectors across Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia.”

Maybank Group is expected to meet its 2025 target of mobilizing MYR80 billion in sustainable finance this year, after cumulatively achieving MYR74 billion from 2021 to March 2024.

Maybank partners Gentari to explore green mobility, renewable energy solutions