All articles by Titien Ahmad

Titien Ahmad

Numbers are still coming in strongly’

Titien Ahmad in Kuala Lumpur talks to Peter England, head of retail banking at Malaysias CIMB Bank After a relatively strong trading year, he says he is now looking to turn CIMB into a pan-Asia regional retail banking player and that Malaysia should escape the worst of the global financial crisis

DBS pays the price for Lehman fall

Of all the banks in the region affected by the collapse of Lehman Brothers last September, DBS in Singapore was perhaps hit the hardest Now, almost a year after a mis-selling scandal that rocked the bank to its foundations, DBS has stopped all sales of structured notes for a limited time and published new guidelines for the way its bankers sell high-grade investment products to retail and private clients. Two other banks and one finance company, as well as a number of local stockbrokers, have also been embroiled in the debacle.

The best days of foreign banks are gone’

Largely dismissing foreign players in India, he said his banks conservative business model has allowed it to grow market share in a fast-changing, dynamic Indian economy.Aditya Puri, the managing director of Indias HDFC, has a methodical and logical approach to banking that comes across very clearly when he shares his strategies and plans for the bank

Vietnam’s turn in the spotlight

As the market opens up to competition between incumbent players and foreign groups, banks in Vietnam are looking towards consumer banking as a key earnings driver

StanChart, Absa, Maybank discuss channel innovation

Titien Ahmad, head of VRLs Asia office in Singapore, gives edited highlights from a recent seminar hosted by VRL Financial News in Malaysia on channel innovation both in the region and globally Attendees included executives from Standard Chartered, South Africas Absa Bank and Maybank, Malaysias largest bank.VRLs recent Channel Innovations Kuala Lumpur forum generated a high level of interest from bankers in the city as the discussion focused on the practicalities of launching mobile and online banking and payments services. The first speaker, Aman Narain, global head of remote banking for Standard Chartered, pointed out that banks are a bit of a walled garden

Korea could be our single biggest market’

South Korea, which has been hit hard by the global downturn, has now become the banks largest market for consumer loans and mortgages it lent $25.1bn in 2008 compared to $17.1bn in Hong Kong and $11.3bn in Singapore. In January 2005, Standard Chartered trumped rival HSBC in a high-profile all-cash deal of $3.3 billion to buy Korea First Bank

Singapore stung by rising NPLs

Titien Ahmad in Singapore says that rising non-performing domestic loans and impairments are hitting the islands banks hard, despite all of them diversifying across the Asia-Pacific region Banks in Singapore have suffered significantly from the islands economic recession and the consensus among industry observers is that things will get worse before the economy bottoms out.

The performance really stands out

Titien Ahmad talks to Kannikar Chalitaporn, the president of Siam Commercial Bank, one of the most retail banking savvy players in the market Net profit, return on equity and return on assets were all the highest in the industry.Siam Commercial Banks annual results are a welcome change from the current gloom dominating the global banking industry

Industry turmoil extends to Asia

South-east Asias biggest lender, Singapore-based DBS Group, has reported a 38 percent fall in third-quarter net earnings to S$402 million ($266 million), driven by lower fee-income and higher provisioning for exposure to Lehman Brothers.

Thai mobile banking gets second wind

Titien Ahmad talks to Charamporn Jotikasthira, chief information officer of Siam Commercial Bank, one of the countrys largest retail banks, who says the channel will become a vital distribution and customer service tool on the back of widespread mobile phone use The past six months have seen a flurry of mobile banking launches in Thailand at a rate last seen six or seven years ago