Malaysia's best international bank 2018: Standard Chartered
Bangladeshi banker Abrar Anwar modestly says he is still learning the ropes at Standard Chartered Bank’s Malaysian offshoot since coming on board in Kuala Lumpur last November, after being at the helm of StanChart in Dhaka. But Anwar has got off to a strong start, as indicated by the RM156.9 million ($38.2 million) in profit that his new KL-based team generated in the first quarter of 2018, his first full quarter in charge. That’s 41% higher than the same quarter in 2017. And 2018 hasn’t been easy, as Malaysians waited to see how toxic politics played out.
In small and medium-sized enterprises, Anwar’s team say he has brought to Malaysia some of the intimate “banker-inside-the-business” practices that mark SME banking in Bangladesh, with its myriad small operators that make up its textile industry. That means up-to-the-minute management of the processing and tracking of bills of lading, orders and transfers, the minutiae of SMEs that StanChart finesses for its commercial customers, through its digital and direct platforms.
StanChart also ran an eclectic corporate and investment book during the year. Deals ranged from a $575 million revolving credit facility arranged for shipping tanker firm AET to a RM1.5 billion Islamic finance syndicated loan for the Malaysian arm of Saudi Telecom. It also arranged a $100 million bond-raising for resources logistics firm Yinson Holdings, in what StanChart claims was the first unrated public dollar bond deal, as well as the first public dollar perpetual instrument by a Malaysian company.