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Pre-Covid profitability by end-2022

HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd chief executive officer Stuart Milne (pic) said the resurgence of Covid-19 cases, decline in consumer demand and protectionism have not dampened the inclination of most Malaysian businesses to invest to grow.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian businesses are coping relatively well despite the current challenges and are expected to return to pre-Covid-19 profitability levels by the end of 2022.

HSBC’s global survey ‘Navigator: Now, next and how’ on 200 companies in Malaysia, reveals that 76% of them expect to return to pre-Covid-19 profitability levels by the end of 2022, while 6% were already ahead of their own pre-Covid-19 level of sales.

HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd chief executive officer Stuart Milne (pic) said the resurgence of Covid-19 cases, decline in consumer demand and protectionism have not dampened the inclination of most Malaysian businesses to invest to grow.

“Malaysian businesses remain optimistic despite the unprecedented year. About 74% of Malaysian businesses have undergone changes in the last 12 months and are looking ahead, Malaysian businesses view innovation and collaboration as the top two characteristics of a successful future business,” he told a virtual media briefing on the survey yesterday.

This latest report by HSBC gauged business sentiment and expectations on trade activity and business growth, and surveyed more than 10,000 companies across 39 markets in the world.

He said the survey data disclosed that overall, Malaysian businesses are more positive than their regional peers and are coping relatively well with the challenges.

The proportion of Malaysian businesses projecting growth over the next year is also well above the average for Asia-Pacific (60%), with the top three drivers of business growth included increased domestic demand, expanding to new digital platforms and channels, and introducing new products and services.

Milne said businesses in Malaysia also have an optimistic outlook when it comes to international trade with 80% of companies expect their international trade prospect over the next one to two years to be positive.

Given the recent signing (and eventual ratification) of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the bank expected an increase in intra-Asian trade, which is already larger than Asia’s trade with North America and Europe combined.

The increase would continue to power global economic growth. — Bernama

The Star, 2 December 2020 (Wednesday)

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