CIMB Group cuts interest rate by 20bps

CIMB Group Holdings Bhd is said to be hiring Rafe Haneef from HSBC Amanah Malaysia Bhd to lead its Islamic banking unit.

KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Group has joined Malayan Banking Bhd and Bank Simpanan Nasional to reduce its interest rates for lending and deposit rates after Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) surprised the market last week by cutting the overnight policy rate (OPR).

CIMB announced on Sunday it is lowering its base rate (BR) by 20 basis points (0.20%) for loans/financing products for its Malaysian business, in view of BNM’s OPR cut by 25 basis points. 
Its BR will be reduced from 4.1% to 3.9% per annum and its base lending rate/base financing rate (BLR/BFR) will be lowered from 6.95% to 6.75% per annum effective July 22, 2016.
CIMB Group, which is Malaysia’s second largest financial services provider, said all loans/financing pegged to BR/BLR/BFR will be adjusted accordingly. 

Due to this change, CIMB's deposit rates will be revised downwards by up to 20 basis points. 
Group chief executive of CIMB Group, Tengku Datuk Sri Zafrul Aziz said: "Bank Negara's preemptive decision to reduce the OPR is both timely and strategic, given the current challenges faced by the domestic economy due to possible spillover effects from global uncertainties. 

“We support this accommodative monetary policy that encourages investments and is favourable to borrowers and consumers to improve prospects moving forward. This cut will also reduce the risk of external imbalances, in view of the general decline in global interest rates." 

Last week, BNM cut the OPR, which is the rate at which banks lend to each other, by 25 basis points (bps) to 3%. This is the first rate cut since 2009.

Following the announcement, Maybank said that its BR would be decreased by 20 basis points from 3.2% per annum to 3% while its BLR would decline from 6.85% to 6.65%.

Bank Simpanan Nasional has also announced its plan to revise its BR downward to reflect the new OPR.

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