State Intervention, Globalization and the Evolution of Malaysian Banks' Identities

Keywords: Chinese finance, bank identities, affirmative policy, financial liberalization and integration, ASEAN


This article describes and explains the evolution of Malaysia's locally owned banks in a series of mergers and acquisitions within national borders and beyond. It argues that state intervention, external economic and financial crises and the liberalization of the financial sector have compelled the consolidation of local banks in Malaysia. The consolidation process has resulted in the increased size of state-owned banks, decreased the number of local Chinese-owned banks and seen a decline in family shareholding in the remaining Chinese-controlled banks. Through regional expansion both Chinese-controlled and stateowned operations have become large-scale regionally based banking groups or global banks, deepening the financial integration in ASEAN countries.

Author Biography

CHIN YEE WHAH (PhD Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 2002) is Professor of Economic Sociology in the School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia. His research interests include Chinese entrepreneurship, ethnic enterprise development, knowledge management, small and medium enterprises and industrial relations. His recent publications appear in Journal of Southeast Asian Economies (2018), Asian Journal of Social Science (2018), Malaysian Journal of Chinese Studies (2017) and Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia (2017).


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