PwC’s COVID-19 CFO Pulse: Malaysia results

Insights from global finance leaders on the crisis and their response - 12 May 2020


PwC is currently tracking sentiment and priorities on the COVID-19 outbreak among finance leaders.

In the latest wave of the survey (week of 4 May 2020), 867 CFOs from 24 countries or territories participated. 31 of these CFOs are from Malaysia, who are from industries including energy, utilities, resources (EUR); health (including Pharma); financial services; industrial manufacturing and automotive (IM&A); technology, media and telecommunications (TMT); retail and consumer; and government/public services.

Malaysia is the only territory in Asia to achieve a sufficiently large sample to report local results, with the other territories mostly located in the Western hemisphere. This may explain some of the variances in our results compared to the global average.

Although this is the first time that Malaysia has participated in the survey, this is the fifth wave of the COVID-19 CFO Pulse survey globally — previous versions can be viewed here. PwC continues to add territories and companies to the survey to offer a robust view of how the crisis is affecting people and businesses worldwide.

Top findings

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As Malaysia entered its first week under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) during the survey period, companies are focused on tactical measures in transitioning to on-site work, including changes in workplace safety measures (87%). They are also confident that they will be able to meet customer safety expectations (74% very confident). 91% of respondents are expecting a decrease in their company revenues as a result of COVID-19. Malaysian CFOs are also almost twice as likely than the global average to be unable to assess the range of decrease (16% vs 9% globally). CFOs in Malaysia are more likely than the global average to list implementing cost containment as one of the financial actions that their companies are considering (94% vs 81% globally). 68% say they are deferring or cancelling planned investments - the majority in facilities/general CapEx (95%) and Operations (71%). Malaysian respondents are overall the least optimistic of the countries surveyed. Although slightly more than half (58%) of Malaysian respondents believe their company could return to ‘business as usual’ within six months if the crisis were to end today — not all are optimistic. 23% estimate that it would take more than 12 months, compared to the global average of 8%.

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Contact us

Nurul A'in Abdul Latif

Nurul A'in Abdul Latif

Deputy Executive Chair, PwC Malaysia

Tel: +60 (3) 2173 0935