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Malaysian mid-sized corporations must be more risk conscious, says survey

30 Jul 2020 / 15:21 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Mid-sized corporations in Malaysia have indicated the need for enterprises to be more risk conscious than before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Standard Chartered survey.

According to the bank’s mid-sized corporates pulse survey, over 73 per cent of respondents in Malaysia indicated that the need to be more risk conscious outweighed that of making their operations more agile and flexible (69 per cent), ahead of the desire to use technology to differentiate from competitors (65 per cent).

In all of Asia, on the other hand, over 70 per cent of medium enterprises surveyed prioritised making their operations more agile and flexible to support business growth.

“As markets emerge from lockdown restrictions and businesses begin on their road to recovery, the need to ensure resilience in their operating model ranked above the relevance of using technology as a differentiator from competitors and providing more value-added solutions to customers,” it said.

The survey, which was conducted with decision-makers from more than 200 mid-sized corporates across mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia and Singapore, also highlighted the vulnerability of these businesses due to COVID-19.

Over 60 per cent of the respondents indicated a reduction in monthly revenues by between 20 per cent and 50 per cent, with more than half of them foreseeing that it would take at least six to 12 months to recover from the disruptive impact and stabilise operations again.

However, sentiments were slightly more optimistic in Malaysia, where 50 per cent of the respondents indicated between 20 per cent and 50 per cent reduction in monthly revenues, and 62 per cent foreseeing that it would take at least six to 12 months to recover from the impact of COVID-19.

Standard Chartered global head of commercial banking Jiten Arora said mid-sized corporates are often more vulnerable to disruptions compared to their larger counterparts due to limitations around financing support, as well as uncertainties about the end-consumer demand.

“Despite these challenges, there is an opportunity for new profitable growth if these businesses can use their size to their advantage and be nimbler in innovating and transforming their ways of working to become more resilient,” Arora added. - BERNAMA

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