Sunday, May 26

Market anxiety should diminish once cabinet line-up is unveiled

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KUALA LUMPUR: The nervousness in the local market, following the surprising 14th General Election results, is temporary and will diminish once Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announces his cabinet’s line up, says a veteran banker.

Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers (AICB) chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim expressed his confidence in the new prime minister, given his experience in steering the country during the 1997 Asian currency crisis.

“We have confidence in what he can achieve and I am sure that investors confidence will come back to the market quickly,” he told a press conference after AICB’s second Chartered Banker Conferment and 21st Graduation Ceremony here during the weekend.

He said Mahathir’s priorities were to sort out the country’s finances and look after the economy, which would be good for investors’ confidence.

On another note, Azman stressed the importance of professional education and the growing significance of AICB’s membership for bankers, given the profound changes taking place across the banking landscape today.

“As many of you are aware, the serious misconduct seen in the last financial crisis greatly undermined the reputation of the banking sector and highlighted the lapses in professionalism among bankers, which resulted in the loss of public confidence and trust.

“May I remind you today, that the very heart of banking is still trust. We are in the business where people put their money in banks because they trust us.

“Hence, our responsibility is to protect the integrity and stability of the banking system, which underpins public trust and confidence in the financial industry,” he said.

Azman said AICB membership had risen to over 17,000 to date from 12,000 at the end of last year. — Bernama