• Business
  • Thursday, 17 Apr 2003

·RATING Agency Malaysia Bhd (RAM) has reaffirmed Public Finance Bhd's (PFB) general bank ratings at AA1 and P1. 

RAM said in a statement the ratings reflected PFB's strong fundamentals, superior asset quality, sound credit culture and stable funding structure.  

As part of the Public Bank group's strategy, PFB has been actively growing its loan assets. This was achieved through a very strong loan growth of 42.80% in the financial year ended Dec 31, 2002, brought about by the increase in motor vehicle hire purchase financing. 

Given the strong loan growth, RAM said, the proportion of its liquid assets had reduced accordingly. But, despite the aggressive loan growth, its asset quality indicators remained superior. 

For 2003, a milder loan growth is expected in tandem with the anticipated slower growth for motor vehicle sales.  

Elsewhere, the group is planning to merge PFB and Public Bank Bhd (PBB) in the future. The proposed scheme by PBB to privatise PFB is viewed as an initial step towards the eventual merger. 

The whole privatisation exercise is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2003. 

·Malaysian Rating Corp Bhd (MARC) has assigned the AAA(s) ID rating to Petronas Fertilizer (Kedah) Sdn Bhd's (PFK) Bithaman Ajil Islamic Debt Securities (BaIDs). 

It said the rating reflected the strength of the support provided by the holding company Petronas in ensuring the timely and full redemption of the BaIDS, either through equity, loan, facilities, grants or other means. 

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Petronas, PFK benefits from Petronas' expertise and experience in operating the ammonia/urea plant owned by its subsidiary, Asean Bintulu Sdn Bhd, with its plant in Gurun, Kedah, while its urea export terminal is in Butterworth. – Bernama  

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