Maybank Q3 earnings up on one off gain, underlying growth intact

SINGAPORE - Maybank reported higher earnings in the third quarter due partly to one off gains, while its Singapore operations remained on the growth track, the bank announced on Thursday (Nov 26)

For the three months to Sept 30, Maybank's net profit was up 18.1 per cent year-on-year to RM1.9 billion (S$633.59 million), which included gains from the sale of its Papua New Guinea operations during the period. Net profit for the nine months was RM5.18 billion, up 8.3 per cent year-on-year.

"After normalising for the gain from the sale, net profit for the third quarter was up 5.8 per cent to RM1.7 billion while for the nine months, it was 4.2 per cent higher at RM5 billion," the bank said.

Maybank's third quarter results was announced at a time when Malaysia's economy was pressured by the commodity crunch, which in turn sent the Ringgit plunging some 17 per cent this year alongside dropping oil prices.

Despite the obvious headwinds, Maybank - fourth largest in Southeast Asia - still grew its net fund based income, or net interest income, by 18.4 per cent year-on-year to RM3.81 billion. Fee income also rose, up 46.8 per cent to RM1.93 billion.

Group loans grew an annualised rate of 17.8 per cent for the first nine months this year, while net interest margin dropped three basis points to 2.31 per cent, Maybank added. Stripping out the currency effect, loans growth for the period was 8.7 per cent.

In Singapore, where the universal bank has 22 branches and around 1,800 people, Maybank also saw growth in its consumer banking businesses.

For the first nine months this year, Singapore's fund based income grew 13 per cent as loans grew 11.3 per cent on an annualised basis, under which consumer loans grew an annualised 25.8 per cent.

"Net fee based income, however, dipped 13.9 per cent as a decline in treasury and wealth management income more than offset a rise in credit-related fees," Maybank added.

Commenting the bank's outlook, Maybank group chief executive Abdul Farid Alias said: "Given the expected headwinds that will remain in the coming year, we will re-double our efforts to raise operational and capital efficiencies, as well as leverage growth opportunities throughout this region."