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Malaysia Finance / Banking Industry 2008

Malaysia economy, in the third quarter of 2007, has strengthened with a real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rising to 6.7% that is led mainly by strong activities within the services sector and was fortified by unremitting construction activity and a pick-up in both the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. For the fourth quarter of 2007, Malaysia economy registered an even stronger economy growth of real GDP raised to 7.3%, which driven by robust domestic demand that is driven by private consumption spending and investment activities as well as public sector spending. For the financial year 2007, the real GDP growth was recorded as 6.3%.

Figure 5.1 : Real GDP growth

With the support from the banking intermediation activity and the increase contribution from new fee-based activities for instance money transmission, unit trust funds and wealth management services, the finance and insurance sector grew 8.8% in the third quarter of 2007. The banking and insurance sector continued to demonstrate high resilience in the fourth quarter of 2007 and strike 9.8% of sector growth that is supported by strong capitalisation and profitability .

Throughout the fourth quarter of financial year 2007, the banking system also registered a strong growth of 21 % in unaudited pre-tax profit to RM5.2 billion from RM 4.3 billion of which in the third quarter of financial year 2007. The growth was supported by the strong growth in the Banking sector and rapid expansion in Islamic finance, which was driven by the initiatives to promote Malaysia as an International Islamic Finance Centre. The Overnight Policy rate remained at 3.5 for both third quarter and fourth quarter of 2007.

The transaction volume in credit card space stood at RM 36.9 billion of which



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