Maybank fourth-quarter profit rises 43 percent, beats estimates

Maybank fourth-quarter profit rises 43 percent, beats estimates
Maybank group's Islamic banking business registered a healthy growth with pre-tax profit rising 13.4 per cent to RM1.95 billion compared with a year earlier. - Filepic
HONG KONG: Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), Malaysia's largest lender by assets, reported a 43 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit on Thursday, beating analyst estimates, and forecast stronger loan growth in its core markets of Malaysia and Indonesia.

Loan growth and a rise in investment income helped push profit for the October-December period to 2.36 billion ringgit ($530.81 million), from 1.65 billion ringgit a year earlier, Maybank said in a statement to the stock exchange.

The result exceeded analysts' average estimate of 1.84 billion ringgit, Thomson Reuters data showed.
Net interest income rose 1 percent to 2.96 billion ringgit from 2.93 billion ringgit a year earlier, Maybank said.

The bank posted a 5.7 percent rise in loans to 485.7 billion ringgit as at the end of December. It expects loan growth to be in the range of 6 percent to 7 percent this year, Maybank said.

"Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the group expects its financial performance for 2017 to be satisfactory given the persisting challenging global environment," it said.

The bank's net impaired loans ratio was 1.51 percent at the end of December, compared with 1.52 percent in the preceding quarter and 1.38 percent in the year-earlier period.

Maybank's stock price fell 2.5 percent over the 12 months through Wednesday, making it the worst performer among Malaysia's 10 banking-sector stocks which saw an average price gain of 10.9 pct in the same period.

The stock ended Thursday morning trade down 0.48 percent in a flat broader market.