KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 10): A large majority (93%) of mid-market enterprises (MMEs) in Malaysia are optimistic about the prospects of growing their top line in 2023 despite softening economic growth globally — with the figure in line with the global average across 14 markets — according to HSBC’s latest Business Balancing Act survey.
In a statement on Thursday (Nov 10), HSBC said that out of the 93% of optimistic MMEs, three in 10 are expecting sales to grow by 15% to 20%, while a quarter of the MMEs are even more positive and expecting sales to grow by more than 20%.
The survey polled a total of 171 chief executive officers and chief financial officers of rising and established Malaysian MMEs with an annual turnover of US$10 million (RM47.05 million) to US$500 million each.
HSBC said a majority of these MMEs are in the manufacturing, retail, digital and financial services sectors.
The research — carried out for HSBC by polling company Toluna — found that optimism about sales growth in 2023 stemmed from two major catalysts, with more than half (56%) of the MMEs citing the introduction of new products and services for their businesses, as well as technology-driven efficiencies in their operations (53%).
The ability to attract investments and secure financing for their business (50%), and increasing domestic demand (49%) were the other two top drivers cited by the MMEs.
On major threats to business growth for MMEs in Malaysia next year, the most common concerns raised were inflation and higher cost of living (63%), rising interest rates (44%), and uncertainty in the political environment (43%).
HSBC Malaysia head of commercial banking Karel Doshi said despite the headwinds and challenges, it is encouraging to see that many MMEs are resilient and positive about their business prospects, as they zero in on growth in 2023.
“MMEs are a significant driver of growth of the Malaysian economy, and their optimism about growing their businesses next year in spite of the tougher economic environment expected is definitely a positive sign,” she said.
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