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3 June 2005


Bank to continue expansion "across communities"

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 3 June 2005 - Prime Minister Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today officially opened OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad's new corporate headquarters and main banking branch at 18 Jalan Tun Perak. The event was witnessed by guests comprising the Bank's customers, business partners, and staff as well as members of Malaysia's regulatory authorities.

Menara OCBC is the Bank's latest investment in Malaysia. Over the last five years, OCBC Bank has invested about RM330 million in the country.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, OCBC Bank Limited's Chairman Dr Cheong Choong Kong said that Menara OCBC is symbolic of the Bank's long association with Malaysia.

"Menara OCBC is brand new, but OCBC in Malaysia is anything but. We have been around since 1932, and we are proud of it," said Dr Cheong.

Reiterating the Bank's commitment to serve the community, Dr Cheong said, "As banker to the community, we help individuals and businesses achieve their aspirations by providing them with the right products and services. This commitment holds true in all the geographies that we operate in. Our name, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, reflects our Chinese roots, but our services extend far beyond that particular community. We have been providing banking services to Malaysians for over seven decades, happily and profitably, through our 25 branches throughout the country."

Today, Malaysia accounts for 30% of the OCBC Group's total profit before tax.

To better help its individual customers achieve their financial objectives, OCBC Bank introduced increasingly innovative products and services. This resulted in a 20% growth in home loans in 2004 and saw the Bank's bancassurance sales growing by 107%, with OCBC Bank taking the number one position for single and regular premium plans. Its portfolio for credit cards also saw a 90% increase in 2004, outpacing the card industry growth in Malaysia by 3.6 times.

As for the business community, the Bank has introduced Business Banking Service Desks in 19 branches in 2004, to provide trade financing advice and services. With over RM1 billion in deposits and about the same amount in loans disbursed, OCBC Bank is also one of the top 2 foreign banks offering Islamic Banking in Malaysia.

Also present at the opening ceremony was Tan Sri Dato Nasruddin bin Bahari, Chairman of OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad. In his address to guests, he spoke about how OCBC Bank was encouraged by the Government's recognition of the role that the Bank could play in nation-building.

"We see ourselves as partners with the Government, working together to enhance the livelihood of Malaysians. The Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia rightly pointed out that foreign banks have benefited and flourished in the stable economic environment and in the significant economic growth Malaysia has achieved. We are ever grateful for this and wish to reciprocate by heeding the Governor's call and becoming more integrated into the domestic economy."

With a total of 22,599 sq m of built-up area, Menara OCBC houses more than 1,500 staff from the Bank's key business divisions as well as its banking branch. The banking hall features an expanded self-service banking lobby, known as OCBC Fastlane, which offers a total of 15 self-service machines comprising automated teller machines (ATMs), cash deposits machines and cheque deposit machines. The Bank's Premier Banking Centre is also located within the building.

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