S&P: Rising inflation, interest rates in the pipeline
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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia can expect a higher inflation and rising interest-rate environment, which could dampen credit demand, push some low-income consumers to the edge of default, and pressurise small, medium enterprises still healing from the impact of the pandemic, says S&P Global Ratings.
However, the risks are “manageable”, it said in its global banking outlook mid-year 2022, Bernama reported.
“Banks’ asset quality also hinges critically on employment in the country, given that 59% of the system’s loan book is exposed to the household sector.
“We expect the unemployment rate to improve in 2022 but stay higher than pre-pandemic level,” it said.
On new digital banks, the report said large banks would retain their market share and it would be interesting to see how the business models of incumbent banks would evolve in response to the digital competition.,
Bank Negara awarded five digital bank licences earlier this year.
“Successful applicants will still have to prove their operational readiness before they can commence operations, which could take 12 to 24 months,” it said.
The report also said that sector loan growth will rebound to 6% in 2022 from 4.5% in 2021, supported by improving macroeconomic conditions.
It forecast a gross domestic product growth of 6.1% in 2022, against 3.1% in 2021.