PETALING JAYA: Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) reported a 3.3% decline in net profit to RM1.81 billion for the first quarter (Q1) ended March 31, 2019 against RM1.87 billion in the previous corresponding period, as the group took a conservative stance in setting aside additional provisioning for clients impacted by the challenging operating environment.
Maybank’s allowances for impairment losses on loans, advances, financing and other debts increased RM94.7 million or 18.6% to RM604 million.
Revenue for the quarter under review, however, rose 12.7% to RM12.98 billion from RM11.52 billion, underpinned by a 1.6% rise in fund based income to RM4.31 billion, partly offset by a marginal dip in net fee-based income to RM1.55 billion owing mainly to lower commission, service charges and fees as well as mark-to-market losses in financial liabilities.
The group’s net interest income and Islamic banking income grew 1.9% to RM4.45 billion in the first quarter.
Maybank’s overall loans grew 4.8%, while gross deposits also increased at similar pace of 4.8% despite intense competition, leading to an improvement in the loan-to-deposit ratio of 92.4% from 92.7% in December 2018.
However, the stiff competition resulted in a compression of the group’s net interest margin to 2.30% in March 2019 compared with 2.38% in December 2018.
Its gross impaired loans ratio as at March 2019 rose to 2.48% compared with 2.41% in December 2018. Impairments for the period were higher at RM637.3 million compared with RM500.8 million a year earlier mainly due to top-up of provisioning for existing impairments and some provisioning made for new impairments.
Nonetheless, Maybank expects to maintain its full-year net credit charge off guidance of 40 basis points for FY19.
On capital strength, the group’s common equity tier 1 ratio strengthened to 14.55% from 13.37% a year ago while total capital ratio stood at 19% (after proposed final dividend and assuming an 85% dividend reinvestment rate) – both significantly higher than the regulatory requirements of 7.0% and 10.5% respectively.
Liquidity coverage ratio came in at 134.2%, well above the regulatory requirement of 100%.
The group’s net earned insurance premiums from the insurance and takaful subsidiaries increased 7.6% to RM1.63 billion.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Maybank expects its financial performance for 2019 to be satisfactory in line with the expected growth prospects of its key home markets. It has set a headline key performance indicator for return on equity of about 11%.
Against the backdrop of moderating global growth and uncertainty from trade tensions, the group will maintain its balance sheet expansion in line with the respective gross domestic product growth in its three home markets and in tandem with the group’s risk posture.
“Maybank group will continue building on its diversified franchise and footprint to expand income streams through cross business collaborations and from focusing on diligent pricing of its assets and liabilities,” it said.