KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 28 — Hong Leong Bank Bhd (HLB) expects to achieve a gross loan growth of about 5 per cent for this financial year (FY) ending June 30, 2019, compared with 3.1 per cent in FY2018.
Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Domenic Fuda said this would be driven mainly by a healthy loan pipeline in the residential mortgage and small and medium enterprise (SME) segments.
“Having achieved our management guide targets in FY2018 with all key performance indicators met, we think a 5 per cent gross loan growth is reasonable for us and in line with the industry,” he said in a media briefing to announce the bank’s latest annual financial results here today.
Net profit for the year grew 23.0 per cent year-on-year to a record high of RM2.638 billion, while gross loans and financing increased to RM129.1 billion with a stable gross impaired loan ratio of 0.87 per cent.
Fuda said besides having a strong financial performance, HLB has also continued to deliver on its vision of becoming a highly digital and innovative bank.
“We have invested about RM124 million in capital expenditure (capex) for digitalisation to date, and will allocate about RM200 million in capex in FY2019 where 40 per cent from it will be digitally and technology related.
“This will not only include the latest digital innovation efforts, but also upgrading the skills of our employees at branches to enhance customer relations amid the increasingly digitally driven marketplace,” said Fuda.
Meanwhile, in a separate statement, Fuda said that growth prospects for the Malaysian economy are expected to remain moderate amid continued support from domestic economic activities and favourable external demand.
“Domestically, any short-term pullback in business and government investments is expected to be offset by a potential boost in private consumption.
“Resumption of consumers’, businesses’ and investors’ confidence going forward will bode well for the economy,” he added. — Bernama