Maybank Kim Eng expands footprint in Vietnam

October 01, 2012 | 17:22
Maybank Kim Eng, the stockbroking and investment banking arm Maybank, is setting sights on becoming the top brokerage in Vietnam by 2015.

Maybank Kim Eng, which operates in 11 countries worldwide, views Vietnam as an important market, especially with the increased activity on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange as well as anticipated developments in its capital market.

“At Maybank, we are focused on capturing growth opportunities in emerging markets and strengthening our market presence. Looking at Vietnam, there have been positive signs, such as more controlled inflation rates, slowing from 25 per cent to 5 per cent within the past twelve months, rebounding foreign reserves, near-elimination of the trade deficit and stabilisation of the dong,” said  Tengku Dato’ Zafrul, group chief executive, Maybank Kim Eng.

Kim Eng Vietnam Securities Joint Stock Company (KEVS) is now known as Maybank Kim Eng Securities Joint Stock Company. It will embrace the new corporate colour, yellow, and the tiger symbol in alignment with Maybank’s corporate identity.

The company also announced changes to its board of directors. Shahrul Nazri Bin Abdul Rahim has replaced Lam Hoang Loc as chairman and Tan Pei-San has joined as a board member.

Ronald Anthony Ooi Thean Yat and Nguyen Thi Thanh Hien will be stepping down from the board.

The organisation launched its Vietnam operations in 2008 and has since seen increasing transaction volumes. Today, it is Vietnam’s fourth-ranked brokerage. It is one of few securities companies in Vietnam that have turned profitable within the first year of its operation. It currently boasts a suite of investment products and services: equities trading, custody services, investment consultancy and corporate finance, supported by a talented research team.

In a bid to woo retail investors and meet market needs, Maybank Kim Eng Vietnam is targeting revenue growth driven by increasing its current 330-strong sales force and expanding its distribution network by opening at least one new branch every year, to 14 by 2015 from 10 branches currently.

“These strategies are in tandem with Vietnam’s tremendous market potential and its expected trading volumes,” said Zafrul. “Currently in Vietnam, there are 58 million people aged 35 and below. Of this, there are only 1.2 million trading accounts with 240,000 accounts that are active.

Attracting and educating more retail investors help to increase liquidity in the stock market, which in turn draws more investors, perpetuating a flourishing trading cycle.”  

Maybank Kim Eng is the first broker in Vietnam to launch a mobile trading application for iPhone and iPad. Called KE Mobile, the application offers investors the option to trade-on-the-move securely, with access to real-time information.

Tam Le Minh, chief executive officer of Maybank Kim Eng Vietnam said: “KE Mobile is a tool for our investors to make faster and more informed trade decisions. Mobile trading has gained popularity in recent times as more traders seek the convenience and flexibility of investing on the go. With KE Mobile as an additional channel for local investors to trade through, we are confident that we will see an increase in our online trades.”

Maybank Kim Eng Vietnam also plans to gain a foothold in the investment banking arena. Vietnam’s 12-month M&A activity from August 2011 to July 2012 saw 22 deals worth $2.5 billion – more M&A capital than any calendar year over the past decade. With more government initiatives which are expected to improve licencing, rules and regulations, many analysts believe that the capital market’s current trajectory is set for further growth.

“We are benefitting from the synergy with Maybank as it has resulted in improved investment banking and underwriting capabilities and the ability to offer cash management support. We are now much more equipped to compete in the capital markets and we have set high targets to grow our investment banking revenue,” Tam said.

“We are here to make a long-term commitment to Vietnam. We  are consolidating  our capabilities across the region to support the development of innovative products and services for our different markets.

As I speak, we are introducing products and services already successful in certain markets into our other markets. These efforts underscore our commitment to deliver the full value of our regional franchise to each and every one of our customers globally – a cornerstone of our efforts in Vietnam,” Zafrul said.

The Maybank Kim Eng group of companies comprises businesses stretching around the globe with offices in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, India, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Great Britain and the United States of America. Maybank Kim Eng has been in Asia for 39 years and provides services in corporate finance, debt markets, equity capital markets, derivatives, retail and institutional securities broking and research.

Maybank Kim Eng Vietnam Securities Joint Stock Company was the first securities company with a foreign strategic partner in Vietnam and offers its clients a full range of financial services including brokerage, internet trading and research, investment banking and corporate finance advisory services.

By Hoang Anh

What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional