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Maybank Q2 profit rises 18% on drop in provisions

Net profit for April-June was 1.96 billion ringgit versus 1.66 billion ringgit in the same period a year ago

Kuala Lumpur

MALAYAN Banking (Maybank), Malaysia's largest lender by assets, on Thursday posted an 18 per cent jump in second-quarter profit due to lower expenses and allowances for loan losses.

Net profit for April-June was 1.96 billion ringgit (S$650 million), versus 1.66 billion ringgit in the same period a year prior. That was in line with the 1.9 billion ringgit average of two analyst estimates compiled by Reuters.

Revenue rose 5 per cent to 11.51 billion ringgit. Allowances for impairment losses on loans and other debt fell 30 per cent to 582.1 million ringgit.

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Maybank said it expects its financial performance for 2018 to be "satisfactory", and that it targets return on equity of about 11 per cent for the year.

Chief financial officer Amirul Feisal Wan Zahir said loan growth would be driven by the bank's consumer business, and that growth in corporate loans will slow.

"We do see strong momentum in our consumer growth for Malaysia, however on the corporate side, we see the momentum slowing down a bit," he said.

Rival CIMB Group Holdings, Malaysia's second-largest lender, on Wednesday posted an increase in quarterly profit. It also said its consumer banking business has been positive since a general election in Malaysia in May.

The new government led by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad scrapped a consumption tax soon after coming to power, leading to a rise in consumer spending. Concerns nevertheless remain as economic growth is widely expected to slow this year.

Malaysia cut its growth forecast for 2018 and reported a slower second quarter two weeks ago, in part attributed to uncertainty brought by a change in government. REUTERS