Malaysia's CIMB asks staff to take unpaid leave
Malaysian banking group CIMB gives 36,000 staff option to take unpaid leave to help cut costs
Monday March 30, 2009, 10:05 am EDT
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Malaysia's second largest bank, CIMB Group, is giving its 36,000 staff in the region the option to take unpaid leave for up to six months to help cut costs amid the global financial crisis, an official said Monday.
Chief Executive Nazir Razak said CIMB has no intention of laying off workers but would temporarily reduce costs by allowing employees to take the unpaid leave, the national Bernama news agency reported.
"There will be cost savings. It's a positive move and a win-win situation," Nazir said.
CIMB officials confirmed his comments and said the leave program, starting in April, has been offered to employees across nine countries including Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.
It will not affect the group's operations as leave is subject to approval and the company can recall the staff whenever necessary, officials said.
CIMB's move reflects increasing difficulties for Malaysian corporations as the country faces the prospect of its first recession in a decade.
The government said in early March it expects the economy will grow 1 percent in the best-case scenario this year and shrink 1 percent in the worst-case scenario. It previously forecast growth of 3.5 percent.
Economists have warned that 67 billion ringgit ($19 billion) of stimulus measures announced by the government recently may be insufficient to avoid a recession.