Despite a challenging business climate, Public Bank Bhd, Malaysia’s largest bank, reported pre-tax profit of 7.10 billion ringgit last year, 9.7 percent of which came from its overseas operations, including its Cambodian subsidiary.
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According to the bank’s financial report released last week, in 2018 Public Bank saw healthy loan growth of 4.2 percent while total customer deposits expanded by 6.2 percent to reach 339.2 billion ringgit. This deposit growth contributed to the bank’s strong funding position, as reflected in its gross loan to fund and equity ratio of 79 percent at the end of 2018.
Teh Hong Piow, director of Public Bank, said the bank continued to sustain stable profitability and a healthy balance sheet growth despite a challenging operating environment in 2018.
The group’s net profit attributable to shareholders increased by 2.2 percent to 5.59 billion ringgit last year, he pointed out.
“2018 was marked by a more moderate economic growth, with increased headwinds on both global and domestic front and banks were faced with a more challenging business climate.
“Against this backdrop, the Public Bank Group was able to sustain stable profitability due to its continuous efforts to drive its loans and deposits business, coupled with the group’s strong asset quality and prudent cost management,” Mr Teh said.
“With that, the group continued to sustain its leading position amongst domestic banks with lowest gross impaired loan ratio of 0.5 percent and most efficient cost-to-income ratio of 33 percent, leading to net return-on-equity ratio of 14.8 percent for 2018,” Mr Teh said.
In 2018, the group’s overseas operations contributed 9.7 percent to overall pre-tax profit, with large contributions from the Public Financial Holdings Limited Group in Hong Kong (PFHL) and Cambodian Public Bank Plc, also known as Campu Bank.
Mr Teh said the two subsidiaries contributed close to 90 percent of the pre-tax profit of the group’s overseas operations.
With the opening of five new branches in 2018, the bank is also actively expanding its presence in Vietnam.