RHB expects conservative loan growth for this year

KUALA LUMPUR: RHB Capital Bhd (RHB Cap) expects a 'conservative' gross loans growth of 8% this year in light of the current market environment, said group managing director Datuk Khairussaleh Ramli.

"The industry expects the environment to be challenging. We expect credit cards usage to increase. With this environment, we target loans growth of 8% in 2016," he said at a results briefing on Friday.

RHB Cap's gross loans grew 6% to RM151.4bil in 2015. Loans growth hit RM142.5bil in 2014.

RHB Cap's net profit for its fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2015 dropped 35% to RM316.12mil from RM486.19mil in the previous corresponding period, mainly due to higher impairment on loans and financing, higher operating expenses and higher impairment losses on other assets, partly offset by higher non-fund based and net fund based income.

Revenue during the quarter was marginally higher at RM2.85bil from RM2.84bil a year earlier.

The group’s performance was affected by lower investment banking and securities market related fee income, lower trading income, higher loan impairment charges and absence of large write-back and income from disposal of investments during the year,” it told Bursa Malaysia today.

For its financial year ended Dec 31, 2015, RHB Cap’s net profit dropped to RM1.51bil from RM2.04bil in the previous corresponding period, while revenue increased to RM10.83bil from RM10.41bil a year ago.

RHB Cap said 2015 was a challenging year due to volatility in the foreign currency markets, the significant reduction in oil prices, intense competition in deposits and slower capital market activities.

“In 2016, the economic landscape is expected to remain challenging. We will continue with our focus of optimising cost and managing asset quality, while we choose to invest in key growth areas and enhance our portfolio returns.”
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