Maybank 1st-Quarter Net Profit Up 19.3% to MYR1.70 Billion; Beats Forecast

By Yantoultra Ngui Features Dow Jones Newswires

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Malayan Banking Bhd. (1155.KU), known as Maybank, said first-quarter net profit rose 19.3% from a year ago on a decline in allowances for impairment losses and a rise in net interest and Islamic banking income.

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The lender, Malaysia's largest bank by assets, said Thursday that net profit for the January-March period climbed to 1.70 billion ringgit ($397.62 million) from MYR1.43 billion. This beat the MYR1.17 billion mean estimate of three analysts polled by Eikon.

Revenue rose marginally to MYR11.28 billion during the quarter from MYR11.18 billion a year ago, the lender said.

Maybank, Southeast Asia's fourth-largest bank, expects its financial performance for 2017 to be satisfactory, according to notes accompanying the lender's financial statement.

The company said it expects markets to show improved performance this year in markets in its home market as well as Singapore and Indonesia.

Loan growth in Malaysia this year is expected to be slightly ahead of gross domestic product expansion, which the bank forecast to come in at 5.1%. Malaysia's central bank projects GDP to grow between 4.3% and 4.8% this year.

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Maybank said it was focusing on pockets of opportunities in the consumer segment, small and medium-size retail enterprises and corporate lending.

Smaller rival CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. (1023.KU) said Wednesday it posted its largest quarterly net profit to date in the latest period, rising in tandem with gradually improving regional economic conditions and capital market activity.

Shares of Maybank ended Thursday's morning session at 2.2% higher at MYR9.57 a share before the earnings were released, outperforming the local benchmark stock index's 0.6 rise.

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

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May 25, 2017 01:42 ET (05:42 GMT)