RAM said in a statement Hong Leong had delivered yet another strong financial performance in the year ended June 30, 2003.
Being conservative, the bank's sturdy asset quality had proven to be a solid platform for it to operate on, RAM said.
This had led to minimal credit costs that complemented its strong income base, despite its modest loan growth and low loan-to-asset ratio.
Fortifying its niche in consumer banking, Hong Leong charted strong growth in its retail banking products while simultaneously building its operations amid a very strong retail depositor base.
On top of its ample liquidity, the bank has one of the strongest capitalisation levels for commercial banks in the country.
The challenge for the bank, however, is to further boost its income-generating ability so as to make full use of its ample funding and abundant capital.
Hong Leong has to ensure a strong and consistent income trend to generate efficient returns while operating with a very low loan-to-deposit ratio.
Meanwhile, Yvonne Chia took over as group managing director of Hong Leong in November following the retirement of Datuk James Lim.
The swiftly orchestrated succession ensures that the bank is not distracted from its goals and strategies.
The ability of the current management team to further reinforce the bank's generally strong fundamentals is key to any potential enhancement to its ratings. – Bernama
It also reaffirmed the AA1 and P1 long- and short-term ratings on its RM100mil Al-Murabahah commercial paper and medium-term notes.
The reaffirmed ratings are accompanied by a stable outlook.
Pahlawan owns and operates the 330-MW combined-cycle gas turbine power plant in Tanjong Kling, Malacca.
RAM noted that Pahlawan had established a commendable 4-year commercial operating track record.
“Similar to other second-generation independent power producers (IPPs) rated by RAM, Pahlawan's power purchase agreement imposes more stringent performance standards in order to qualify for full capacity payments (CPs). – AFX-Asia
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