Malaysian Rating Corporation Berhad (MARC) yesterday held its 2017 Investors’ Conference at Hilton Kuala Lumpur which brought together professionals from the financial sector and other key sectors in Malaysia. MARC’s analytical experts shared their outlook on the Malaysian economy, corporate credit as well as the banking sector.
The opening remarks were delivered by MARC’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mohd Razlan Mohamed, who said that the rating agency is looking ahead to an exciting year in 2017 despite challenging market conditions. Amid headwinds and uncertainties, MARC expects GDP growth to remain relatively healthy at 4.3% this year.
The focal point of MARC’s Investors’ Conference was on the economic outlook for 2017 in relation to the Malaysian economy. Malaysia’s growth trajectory is dependent on the global economy outlook. A continuing recovery in global trade and commodity prices would result in a positive outlook for Malaysia. Domestic demand would continue to support headline growth, even though the pace will be slightly moderated due to the rising costs of living and weaker consumer sentiment.
On the external front, MARC notes that Malaysia’s external sectoral performance continues to exert pressure on its headline growth. The lacklustre pace in global demand has caused exports in USD terms to post negative growth for 22 consecutive months through July 2016 before rebounding slightly recently. The below trend growth of China’s economy – Malaysia’s largest trading partner – also contributes to the slow growth in Malaysian exports. Going forward, a possible trade war between China and the US may induce the former to continue devaluing its currency, hence hurting Asian exporters such as Malaysia.
Concluding the day’s proceedings were a panel discussion and question-and-answer session moderated by MARC’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mohd Razlan Mohamed, where the speakers exchanged their thoughts and ideas on common topics of interest with the audience.