Economic recovery to support AMMB growth

“We are pleased to see consistent growth in our performance, driven by our solid fundamentals and commitment to excellence,” says AmBank group CEO Sulaiman Mohd Tahir.

KUALA LUMPUR: AMMB Holdings Bhd expects its growth momentum to be supported by the country’s economy that is well on its way to recovery.

The bank is also expecting its dividend payouts to revert to its historical mean soon.

“We are pleased to see consistent growth in our performance, driven by our solid fundamentals and commitment to excellence,” AmBank group chief executive officer Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir said in a statement.

“The Malaysian economy remains robust, particularly in the third quarter. We are encouraged by strong economic activities accompanied by the influx of foreign investments and stronger domestic as well as foreign demand.

“We foresee these factors supporting the growth momentum of our economy well into 2023,” Sulaiman added.

According to him, the declaration of an interim dividend of six sen per share or a dividend payout ratio of 23% indicates that the lender is well on track to revert to its historical dividend payout pattern.

“Moving forward, we will continue with our efforts to strengthen the group’s position and play our part in the recovery of our nation’s economy,” he said.

In its second quarter ended Sept 30, AMMB reported that its net profit rose 35.6% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM435.4mil while quarterly revenues was at RM1.18bil from RM1.12bil in the same quarter a year ago.

Basic earnings per share for the quarter was at 13.15 sen.

“Our top line and bottom line results are a clear reflection of our efforts to strengthen market share while managing our asset quality. Despite the headwinds, we have been able to register strong results due to our solid fundamentals,” Sulaiman said.

Its net profit grew 20.8% y-o-y to RM854.6mil for the first half ended Sept 30 on the back of first half revenue remaining flat at RM2.35bil.

“Total income for the first half stood at RM2.35bil, driven by a 10.4% increase in net interest income to RM1.79bil on the back of higher loans growth and net interest margin expansion,” it said.

It noted that income was, however, offset by a RM181.3mil reduction in non-interest income due to the disposal of AmGeneral Holdings Bhd and lower fee income from the investment banking and wealth management segment.

Meanwhile, it said gross loans and financing rose 3.6% in the year-to-date period to RM124.4bil from the end-of the financial year 2022.

AMMB said its customer deposits stood at RM121bil, with a current account savings account (CASA) consisting 32.9% of total deposits.

“This was contributed by a 2.1% in the year-to-date increase in time deposits offset by a 7.6% reduction in CASA balances,” it said.

Meanwhile the group also said its overall expenses increased by 3.9% y-o-y, with the cost to income ratio higher at 44.6% compared with 42.7% in the previous year.

However, AMMB also noted its expenses have remained flat y-o-y after adjusting for the reversal of excess bonus accruals from the previous year.

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