RHB Bank Second-Quarter Net Profit Rises 43%

By Yantoultra Ngui Features Dow Jones Newswires

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--RHB Bank Bhd. (1066.KU), Malaysia's fourth-largest lender by assets, said Tuesday that its net profit for the second quarter rose 43% from the previous year, mainly due to lower impairment losses and allowances.

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Net profit for the April-June period climbed to 501.0 million ringgit ($117.4 million) from MYR350.2 million a year earlier, the bank said in a local stock-exchange filing.

Revenue declined slightly to MYR2.63 billion during the quarter from MYR2.65 billion a year ago, it said.

RHB Bank said it is likely to deliver a better performance this year, with the Malaysian banking sector expected to see signs of modest growth.

"As we move into the second half of the year, we see stronger pipeline in the investment-banking front, and our balance sheet remains strong," Khairussaleh Ramli, RHB's group managing director, said in a statement.

The strong earnings report came days after RHB and AMMB Holdings Bhd. (1015.KU) agreed to end merger talks. The merger would have threatened Public Bank Bhd.'s (1295.KU) position as the country's third-largest lender.

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Analysts say the failed merger was net negative for the profitability of Malaysia's banking sector in the medium term.

Shares of RHB were down 1.0% at MYR5.00 ($1.20) ahead of the earnings announcement. The local benchmark stock index declined 0.5%.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 29, 2017 02:10 ET (06:10 GMT)