PETALING JAYA: AmInvestment Bank Bhd will capitalise on its strategic partnership with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ) to grow its regional operations, its debt capital markets head Soo Seohan said.
“We have been in Indonesia for more than 10 years. We now have a full-fledged investment bank licence in Singapore and we are also planning for other regional offices,” he told The Edge Financial Daily on the sideline of the Infrastructure development and Financing Conference here yesterday.
Declining to reveal the places where AmInvestment Bank would be opening new offices, Soo said ANZ could help the bank to expand overseas as ANZ already had a strong presence in several Asian countries.
“Obviously, we can make use of their network to help us structure (new products) and in distribution,” he added.
Soo said AmInvestment Bank had previously arranged for several highly rated bonds on behalf of foreign institutions such as the Asian Development Bank.
He was hopeful of getting more foreign business by opening offices in new markets as foreign issuers now made up of only a very small portion of the total volume of bonds arranged by the bank.
On average, AmInvestment Bank handles 80 to 100 bonds issues per annum, amounting to some RM10 billion.
Soo also said the bond market would continue to grow next year and AmInvestment Bank was confident of maintaining its position among the top three investment banks in Malaysia.
When asked about increased competition from foreign banks, he said: “Our services are very integrated and we have been around for so long. It is not easy to establish markets just by being aggressive.”
Earlier, Soo presented a talk on the debt capital markets and the prospect of private financing initiative (PFI) for infrastructure projects in Malaysia.
He said PFI could work although bankers generally found them to be riskier than previous privatisation projects as the government would no longer provide revenue guarantee for such projects.
Since the concept was mooted recently, he added that it would also take some time to convince investors of the viability of these projects.
Various PFI projects had been carried out successfully in other countries, Soo said, citing examples of Hong Kong’s Tung Chung cable car and Singapore’s Tuas desalination projects.
Major projects in Malaysia that are likely to be funded under the PFI scheme include the Ipoh-Padang Besar double tracking and some water management projects.