Malaysia's CIMB Group 1Q Net Profit up 45.1% at MYR1.18 Billion

By Yantoultra Ngui Features Dow Jones Newswires

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia--CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. (1023.KU), the country's second-largest lender by assets, on Wednesday reported its highest-ever quarterly net profit in the first quarter, up in tandem with gradually improving regional economic conditions and capital market activity.

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Net profit for the January-March period rose 45.1% to 1.18 billion ringgit ($274 million) from MYR813.8 million a year ago amid falling loan provisions, according to a local stock exchange filing.

Revenue increased 16.9% to MYR4.36 billion during the quarter from MYR3.73 billion, largely driven by a 32.3% increase in non-interest income in line with improved capital market activity, the filing showed.

CIMB, Southeast Asia's fifth-largest bank by assets, spent the past decade expanding in a region that has struggled with softer economic growth of late. But things have turned for the better in the region this year on improving global trade performance and higher commodities prices, boosting economic growth.

"Looking ahead, the group is cautiously optimistic for the rest of 2017, with more stable economic conditions, increased regional activity, improved capital markets and declining provisions across our key geographies," Chief Executive Zafrul Aziz said in a statement.

CIMB shares were trading 0.2% lower at MYR5.98 ahead of the earnings release, underperforming the local benchmark index's 0.2% rise.

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-- Write to Yantoultra Ngui at yantoultra.ngui@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 24, 2017 01:29 ET (05:29 GMT)