STRONG growth in corporate banking revenues pushed ABN Amro Bank Bhd pre-tax profit up more than six-fold to RM70.7mil, despite a reduction in interest income.
The bank announced yesterday a vastly improved pre-tax profit for the year ended Dec 31, 2002, from RM11.4mil in 2001 while net profit soared 11-fold to RM51.2mil from RM4.2mil previously.
Non-interest income, which increased 52% to RM69.2mil from RM45.4mil, contributed significantly to the banks better results. According to ABN Amro, advisory and underwriting fees from a number of capital market transactions, including deals for Maxis Communications Bhd, IOI Corp Bhd and RHB Group, boosted the banks corporate evenues.
With the higher profits, the banks core capital ratio rose to 35.9% from 25% a year ago, while its risk weighted capital ratio improved to 37.6% from 26.4% previously.
The banks newly classified non-performing loans (NPLs) fell to RM9.7mil from RM81.8mil a year ago, while its NPL ratio improved to 0.7% from 3.6% over the same period.
The continued focus on stringent credit policy has helped maintain asset quality, it said.
ABN Amro said it faced challenging market and economic conditions last year. Interest income fell 33% to RM93.2mil from RM140.1mil in 2001, while net interest income dipped 21% to RM37.7mil from RM47.4mil previously.
ABN Amro managing director in Malaysia, Hagues Delcourt, said that although geopolitical uncertainties would impact the banks activities, he expected a similarly strong financial performance in Malaysia this year.
Delcourt said the banks income growth would come from non-interest, fee generating activities such as credit structuring, loan syndication, financial market products as well as cash management and trade activities.
The banks Dutch parent ABN Amro Bank NV has posted a marginal rise in net profit of 2.1% to 2.4 billion euros.
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