KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) beat expectations with a 9.1 per cent rise in quarterly net profit, its highest profit in two years, as Islamic banking income soared and net interest income grew for Malaysia's largest lender.
Maybank recorded a net profit of RM2.33 billion (S$773 million) for October-December compared to RM2.13 billion in the same period a year earlier. The result beat the RM2.14 billion average of three analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv.
Net interest income - a measure of bank profitability - rose 2.85 per cent to RM3.1 billion while Islamic banking income rose 21.4 per cent to RM1.5 billion during the period, according to a statement from the bank. Revenue rose 3.7 per cent to RM12.23 billion.
Maybank's net earned insurance premiums increased 4.8 per cent to RM1.5 billion, lending further support to its quarterly performance.
The bank, whose main markets are Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, also reported lower allowances for impairment losses.
"Against the backdrop of moderating global growth and uncertainty over trade tensions, Maybank Group will maintain its balance sheet expansion in line with forecast economic growth of its three home markets and in tandem with the group's risk posture," the bank said.
In Indonesia, it will remain focused on corporate lending growth among top-tier clients and on expanding fee income streams through strategic partnerships in bancassurance and general insurance as well as e-channel transactions, it said.