Maybank optimistic of qualifying for waiver from Bank Indonesia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) president and CEO Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar said the bank is optimistic of keeping its current shareholding in Bank Internasional Indonesia (BII) in line with Bank Indonesia's new shareholding requirement for commercial banks there.

“Under the guidelines, those banks which are already major shareholders of existing banks in Indonesia and have maintained good corporate governance, are allowed to continue to hold their shares.

“We should qualify for the waiver,” Wahid said after the signing of an agreement between Maybank and Legoland Malaysia yesterday.

“We are glad of this clarity coming from Indonesia. It is good that the ruling will not be made retrospective. We are basically happy to be able to keep our stake in BII.”

Maybank owns a 97.52% stake in BII.

To recap, Bank Indonesia had in the middle of July announced new regulations that set ownership limits in Indonesian local banks at a maximum of 40% but will allow exemptions through obtaining approval from the Indonesian central bank and to meet certain requirements.

Maybank earlier said in a statement that it was pleased to note the announcement by Bank Indonesia that that its subsidiary BII “will continuously uphold high standards in risk management, corporate governance and prudent banking practices to ensure its soundness as a financial institution will be recognised by the regulator (in Indonesia).”

Meanwhile, BII yesterday reported a net profits of 592 billion rupiah (RM197mil) for the six months ended June 30, 2012, up 61% from 367 billion rupiah (RM122mil) as of June 30, 2011. Maybank said in a statement that this was the highest ever net profit recorded by BII since 1997.

It said the improved performance was mainly supported by solid growth across BII's core businesses, improved assets quality and its continuing overall operational improvements.

BII's growth across its business segments was accompanied by improved asset quality. Its gross non-performing loans (NPL) level was at 2.11% as of June 30, 2012 from 2.45% as of June 30, 2011 and net NPL improved to 0.98% from 1.22%.

The improvement in assets quality was achieved mainly through BII's prudent and disciplined banking practices as reflected by continuous effort in strengthening its risk management and credit processing as well as closer monitoring of existing borrowers.

“The bank (BII) has also been able to record annualised double-digit return on equity of 15.72%, which is the first for the bank since 1997. I am confident that our sustainable growth plan across all business segments will further improve our performance as we continue to capture higher market share while ensuring good assets quality,” BII president director Datuk Khairussaleh Ramli said.

“BII's strong performance for the first half of 2012 is testimony to the tremendous efforts made by our entire team to pursue profitable growth. I am confident that with increasing synergies with the rest of the Maybank group, BII customers and other stakeholders here will see their relationships with us delighting them further as we humanise financial services,” Maybank chairman Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor said.

Maybank's five-year partnership with Legoland Malaysia will allow Maybank to be the sole provider of retail banking services within Legoland Malaysia, the water theme park and eventually the Legoland Hotel.

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