Maybank’s PBT up 8 pct last year on strong Q4 earnings

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Maybank Tower, the headquarters of Maybank which is one of the government-linked companies (GLCs), is seen in Kuala Lumpur April 5, 2013. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad

Maybank, Southeast Asia’s fourth largest bank by assets and one of the largest commercial banks in Cambodia, yesterday announced that it achieved a record profit before tax (PBT) of 10.9 billion ringgit for the financial year ended 31 December 2018, up 8.0 percent from a year earlier boosted mainly by higher loans growth, lower overhead costs as well as lower provisioning.

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Net profit for the year also marked a new record – surpassing the 8 billion ringgit mark for the first time to reach 8.11 billion ringgit or 7.9 percent higher year-on-year, according to the bank’s financial report.

Maybank’s chairman, Datuk Mohaiyani Shamsudin, said the results reflected the underlying strength and resilience of the group, which had to contend with an extremely challenging year in 2018.

“Our strategy of growing responsibly, while managing expenses and pricing in a disciplined manner, were key factors that enabled us to remain on a steady growth trajectory despite the heightened volatility in global markets,” she said.

Datuk Mohaiyani said the board of directors is rewarding shareholders with a proposed final single-tier dividend of 32 sen per share. To be made under the bank’s dividend reinvestment plan, the proposed dividend comprises a 15 sen cash portion and a 17 sen electable portion which can be reinvested into new ordinary shares or paid in cash.

Together with the 25 sen interim dividend declared earlier, the full year dividend payout of 57 sen per share amounts to 6.3 billion ringgit or 77.3 percent of net profit. The total dividend payout also translates into a higher dividend yield of 6.0 percent (compared to 5.6 percent in 2017), again placing Maybank as one of the banks offering the highest dividend yields in the region.

Meanwhile, group president & CEO of Maybank, Datuk Abdul Farid Alias, said the group continued to benefit from its strong franchise in the region as well as its strong fundamentals, which gave it the capacity to navigate through the challenging year.

“We remain cautious over the global operating environment given continued geopolitical concerns as well as volatility in commodity prices, although we expect greater stability in the domestic market arising from measures being put in place to ensure sustainable growth,” he said.

“We believe we can leverage business opportunities in Asean where the economies will show respectable growth, while at the same time, benefit from our focus on digitalisation which will help us achieve better efficiencies and new frontiers in customer experience,” he added.

Maybank is among Asia’s leading banking groups. It is present in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, China, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, Laos, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Great Britain and the United States.

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