PETALING JAYA - Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) has emerged as a new entrant in Bloomberg Markets magazine's third annual ranking of the world's strongest banks.
Ranked as the 13th strongest bank in the world, Maybank is the only Malaysian bank to make the list.
The magazine quoted Maybank chief executive officer Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar as attributing the bank's achievement to Bank Negara for its tough supervision, as well as Maybank's new stress-testing and risk-control measures.
"The central bank has always adopted a very pragmatic supervision approach. Whenever there are signs of problems, Bank Negara has never been hesitant to intervene," he said.
Maybank began its regional expansion with the acquisition of a controlling stake in PT Bank Internasional Indonesia (BII) in 2008.
Wahid said the bank planned to extend its footprint to all 10 ASEAN members as the region moved toward the planned economic integration by 2015.
For the financial year ended Dec 31, 2012, Maybank earned 30 per cent of its pre-tax profit from overseas operations, the bulk of which came from Indonesia and Singapore.
Maybank also has strengthened its risk management team, and has implemented a risk-control team in every key division of the bank.
Since January, Malaysia has started putting the Basel III rules into place, which has been designed to reinforce the capital of big international banks. Last October, Maybank raised RM3.66bil from a private placement to help bolster its capital.
It has also instituted several other Basel III reforms, ahead of the international group's timetable, which stretches the process to 2019.
Wahid said the bank was prepared to meet all Basel III requirements.
Meanwhile, Qatar National Bank took the top spot in the Bloomberg Markets ranking while Singapore's Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp came in second.
Bloomberg Markets obtained a list of banks with total assets of US$100bil (RM305bil) or more, as of mid-March. The banks were ranked based on several ratios, including the bank's Tier 1 capital to its risk-weighted assets, non-performing assets to total assets, reserves for loan losses to non-performing assets, deposits to funding, and efficiency.
Banks that reported a loss in net income for 2012 or failed the US Federal Reserve's most recent stress test were excluded.