PETALING JAYA: Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) says it is well-equipped to weather uncertainties arising from the geopolitical situation, due to its solid franchise in the region and strong fundamentals.
The group, which saw its net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30 slipping 3.4% to RM1.96bil from RM2.03bil a year ago, said the prolonged geopolitical situation remained a key concern, as it would influence global growth, including in Asia, where most of Maybank’s operations are based.
“We will remain agile to adjust to rapid market changes, while at the same time look for opportunities for growth, such as in infrastructure financing, wealth management, digital banking and Islamic banking.
“We will ensure that we grow responsibly as well as maintain strict discipline in pricing and managing costs,” group president and CEO Datuk Abdul Farid Alias said in a statement.
Maybank chairman Datuk Mohaiyani Shamsudin also noted that the period was marked by significant global uncertainty and market instabilities, resulting in its customers being more cautious, particularly corporates.
“Nevertheless, we remained focused on sound risk management as well as maintaining a robust capital and liquidity position, which helped us withstand much of the headwinds that persisted, particularly in the third quarter,” she said.
Maybank said the lower profit recorded for the quarter was due to a 3.3% dip in net operating income, which, in turn, was a result of continued global market volatility which dampened economic growth and demand in key segments.
Net operating income came in at RM5.69bil, compared with RM5.89bil a year earlier, impacted by a dip in fee-based income.
The bank attributed this to lower investment and trading proceeds, as well as foreign-exchange fluctuations.
Despite this, it said, operating profit for the period was higher, at RM2.61bil, as the group benefitted from lower overhead expenses and lower impairment losses.
For the nine-month period, the bank reported a higher net profit of RM5.78bil, up 7.27% from RM5.39bil in the previous corresponding period.
Maybank, which is South-East Asia’s fourth-largest bank by assets, also saw revenue for the period rising 3.8% to RM35.08bil.
Pre-tax profit rose 8.8% to RM7.81bil, supported by higher net fund-based income, disciplined cost management as well as a continued decline in impairments, the bank said.
The group also recorded a steady loan growth across its key home markets, with its Indonesian operations growing 8.9%; Singapore 7.1%; other international markets 11.9% and Malaysia 4.9% year-on-year – bringing the overall group loan growth to 4.5% for the nine-month period.
Gross deposits, meanwhile, grew 3.8%, led by its Malaysian operations at 6.7%, followed by Singapore at 1.7%.
Indonesia, however, saw a contraction of 7.2%, which the bank said was part of its strategy in managing its cost of funding by reducing dependence on high cost time deposits.