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RHB Banking Group Upgrades Infrastructure With IBM System z10

Bank Adopts New Enterprise Data Center to Cater for Progress and Expansion

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - 28 Aug 2008: RHB Banking Group today announced its new department, Central Technology Unit, will enhance its product development and delivery to customers with IBM (NYSE: IBM) System z10 mainframe as the foundation of its new enterprise data center. The investment will also support the critical processing capacity for the banking group's clients throughout Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand.

RHB Banking Group's goal with the z10 project is to become a one-stop banking institution, covering different services from Islamic banking to insurance banking, in the advent of the business and Information Technology (IT) transformation exercise.

The banking group recently underwent a strategic transformation exercise which brought about its IT operations under a single umbrella of Central Technology Unit, which is responsible to deliver enhanced shared IT services to the Group.

RHB Banking Group's IT operations is poised to offer shared services such as IT solutions and services delivery so that RHB will be able to leverage its skilled workforce to achieve the Group's vision to be among the top three financial institutions in ASEAN by the year 2020. The integration also reflects the Group's commitment to taking new business approaches and using the latest technology to sustain growth in the long term.

Michael J. Barrett, Group Managing Director, RHB Banking Group said that the banking group is confident that IBM System z10 will help serve its customers better especially now that banking group offers more holistic financial services such as retail banking and wealth management, corporate and investment banking, Islamic banking and insurance.

"We are proud to be the forerunner in having this system that, amongst other things, is highly scalable to cater for business growth, mergers and acquisitions. The RHB Banking Group, in line with its aspiration to be a convenient one-stop financial institution, has continually explored all possibilities in integrating all its available products and services," said Barrett.

"This investment and collaboration with IBM is the platform that will help us realize the objective of providing continuous banking services to our customers. In making this choice, we have also taken into account how this mainframe system will enable us to consolidate and streamline our core banking systems and day-to-day operation of other businesses within the RHB Banking Group," he added.

IBM's strong performance in the second quarter this year was partly attributed to the growth of IBM System z10 mainframe, which delivered a 32 percent increase in revenue. IBM has driven mainframe revenue growth in seven of the last nine quarters, and MIPS growth 10 of the last 12 quarters. IBM has doubled its market share in high end server space since 2000. More than 600 new applications were introduced last year, bringing the total to more than 4,000 applications available on the System z platform.

IBM Malaysia's managing director Ou Shian Waei said, "RHB has proven its innovation stance as it leads the way in adopting the world most powerful computer, the IBM System z10 Enterprise Class, to meet the escalating needs of its clients locally and regionally."

IBM System z10 which made its debut early this year also offers security controls which are synonymous with the system as the only server on the planet that has achieved this level of certification for security and partitions from the United States government's highest level of security, Evaluation Assurance Level 5 (EAL5), via z/VM.

"Our relationship with RHB is one which we have built for more than a decade and we have seen the banking group grow and prosper and we are confident that they will reach their goals while keeping clients' needs at heart," added Ou.

About IBM System z10

The security of the mainframe allows protection of sensitive data such as credit card information and client's personal information from hackers which is vital in banking operations such as RHB Banking Group.

IBM System z10 is designed from the ground up to help clients dramatically increase data centre efficiency by significantly improving performance and reducing power, cooling costs, and floor space requirements, creating a new enterprise data centre model for the organization.

Clients today are looking to reduce the inefficiency and complexity of today's data centers, as well as share IT resources more efficiently and better align them to specific business objectives and ever-changing business conditions. Clients are looking to manage IT as a service -- using a policy-driven system -- such as the IBM System z10 that doles out, manages, and tracks appropriate IT resources where and when needed -- to create the new enterprise data center.

About RHB Banking Group

The RHB Banking Group is the fourth largest fully integrated financial products and services group in Malaysia. Its four broad categories of businesses -- Commercial Banking, Islamic Banking, Investment Banking and Insurance -- are collectively grouped under RHB Capital Bhd, which is listed on Bursa Malaysia. For more information about the RHB Banking Group, visit www.rhb.com.my

About IBM

For more information about IBM, visit www.ibm.com

Contact(s) information

Chow Mun Yee
IBM Media Relations
Office: 603-2301 8078
chowmy@my.ibm.com

Mastura Adnan
RHB Banking Group
Office: Tel: 603 - 9280 2288
masturaa@rhb.com.my

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