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Feb 21, 2008


Maybank posts 7.7% fall in second-quarter net profit

KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia's top lender Maybank said Wednesday its second-quarter net profit fell 7.7 percent to RM731 million (US$227 million) from a year earlier.

But Maybank's first-half net profit rose 7.8 percent to RM1.466 billion, helped by an increase in net interest income on the back of a larger loan base, it said.

"Notwithstanding market conditions which affected the group's trading and investment income, the core commercial banking business grew at a steady pace," Amirsham Aziz, Maybank's chief executive officer, said.

Amirsham said lower loan provisions and the stronger performance of its international operations added to the higher profit.

Maybank said it will pay a 15 sen interim dividend for the three months to December 31, 2007.

Amirsham said Maybank's investment through the years in building a robust international network "is seeing good returns as we record continued growth in profit and revenue, particularly in Singapore."

Loan loss provisions for the half year fell by 37 percent to RM285.6 million and newly classified non-performing loans fell by nearly 11 percent, he said.

Looking ahead, Amirsham said despite signs of a slowdown in the global economy, Malaysia's resilient economy will enable Maybank to sustain steady growth.

But he said rising cost pressure and margin squeeze due to intense competition remain a challenge for the group.

On Wednesday, Maybank shares ended down five sen at RM9.80. - AFP


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