Affin-ACF hopes to maintain loans growth

AFFIN-ACF Holdings Bhd expects loans growth to hit high single digit this year, said chief executive officer Tee Cheng Yan. 

“In view of the challenging environment we are operating in, we hope to maintain good growth this year,” he said after the group's AGM in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. 

In the last financial year, Affin-ACF Finance Bhd had chalked up 8.2% growth in auto loans to RM120.1mil. Affin-ACF Finance's car financing business contributes about 80% to revenue, with the balance coming from insurance broking and lease and hire-purchase financing. 

Asked whether Affin-ACF Finance saw car loans slowing as consumers were adopting a wait-and-see attitude on speculation of further tariff reductions under the Asean Free Trade Area, Tee said it was too early to make conclusions based on January and February car sales alone, adding that he preferred to wait for the March and April figures. 

On the performance of Affin Bank – which is under Affin Holdings Bhd – Datuk Lodin Wok Kamaruddin, who sits on the boards of Affin-ACF Holdings and Affin Holdings, said that in view of the tough environment in which the bank operated the past few years, Affin Bank had done “remarkably well''.  

Testimony of this was, he said, the bank's turnaround from a loss of RM747.1mil to a pre-tax profit of RM29.4mil in the last financial year. 

On talk of a possible merger between Malayan Banking Bhd and Affin Bank, Lodin said: “No one approached us. We are not talking to Maybank. We hope to remain as an anchor bank and have done a lot to strengthen the bank.” 

On the rationalisation of the group's finance and banking units, Lodin declined to disclose details, saying only that it was an ongoing process and the rationalisation was necessary to achieve economies of scale and promote efficiency. 

“We will consider the revenue, returns and location in our decision if a branch should be maintained or closed,” he said. 

The Affin Group has 60 finance and 84 bank branches. 

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