KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), Southeast Asia’s fourth-biggest lender by assets, today reported a 16 per cent rise in quarterly profit, bolstered by higher net loans, advances and fee income.
Net profit in its October-December fourth quarter was RM1.46 billion, up from RM1.26 billion a year earlier, Maybank said in a filing to the stock exchange. The result was slightly lower than the average estimate of a RM1.51 billion profit in a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll of two analysts.
Quarterly revenue rose 4.3 per cent year-on-year. The company announced a dividend of 33 sen per share.
“Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the group expects its financial performance for the financial year ending Dec. 31, 2013, to be better than the previous financial year,” Maybank said in the filing.
Growing economies in Southeast Asia have helped Malaysian banks to expand in recent quarters, cushioning them from slowing global growth.
Maybank, Malaysia’s biggest bank, recently injected US$100 million (RM309.8 million) into its Philippine unit to expand its network in that country. Last year, second-ranked CIMB Group Holdings Bhd bought some of the Asian operations of Royal Bank of Scotland Plc and the unlisted banking arm of the Philippines’ San Miguel Corp.
For 2012, Maybank’s net profit rose 18 per cent to RM5.74 billion, as revenue climbed 16 per cent. The average forecast in a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll of 26 analysts was for a full-year profit of RM5.59 billion.
Shares of Maybank rose 10 per cent in 2012, compared with a 12 per cent rise in the broader market. They were down 0.2 per cent prior to the results announcement, against the market’s 0.6 per cent fall. — Reuters