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Maybank posts 19% profit rise

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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia’s largest lender by assets Maybank posted a better-than-expected 19 percent jump in first-quarter net profit as it made more loans in Asean and as a restructuring of troubled loans last year helped cut its impairment losses.
Malaysian banks are benefitting from a strengthening domestic economy and a recovery in commodity prices. For most of last year, the commodities downturn and the lingering shadow of a corruption scandal involving state-owned fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad had weighed on them.
Those trends helped CIMB Group Holdings, Malaysia’s second-biggest lender, post a record quarterly profit a day before.
Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) reported yesterday a net profit of 1.70 billion ringgit ($397.52 million) for January-March compared to 1.43 billion ringgit a year ago. That beat the 1.2 billion ringgit average estimate of three analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.
Maybank said net impairment losses for the quarter fell by 38.2 percent to 542.8 million ringgit.

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