KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 — AMMB Holdings Bhd’s (AmBank Group) net profit eased to RM319.57 million in the second quarter (Q2) ended Sept 30, 2019, from RM348.15 million a year earlier partly due to higher allowances for expected credit loss (ECL) and financial investments.
However, the group’s operating profit before impairment losses improved by 8.2 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM542.67 million as revenue rose to RM2.35 billion from RM2.31 billion previously, it said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today.
For the first half year to Sept 30, net profit increased to RM711.03 million from RM695.75 million in the same period last year on 5.7 per cent growth in revenue to RM4.74 billion.
In a media statement, AmBank Group said total income grew 5.6 per cent to RM2.13 billion in the first six months, with a consistent net interest income growth of 4.6 per cent and stronger fixed income trading and investment gains.
Net impairment charge was higher at RM76.6 million (H1 FY19: RM17.9 million), which it attributed largely to increased gross provisions charged for wholesale banking offset by releases and recoveries achieved, a net increase in business banking provisions and higher ECL on retail banking portfolios.
The group’s gross impaired loans ratio stood at 1.77 per cent, up from 1.59 per cent in the last financial year (FY19), with loan loss coverage at 105.8 per cent (FY19: 114 per cent).
Gross loans increased two per cent y-o-y, and was broadly stable year-to-date (YTD), at RM102 billion.
Excluding auto loans, gross loans expanded 1.6 per cent YTD, more in line with industry growth rates.
Gross loans continued to grow in the targeted segments, with mortgage loans increasing 3.3 per cent to RM35.2 billion while loans in the retail SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and business banking segments grew strongly by 14.5 per cent and 4.6 per cent YTD, respectively.
Total customer deposits stood at RM102.7 billion, up 1.9 per cent y-o-y but down 3.9 per cent YTD.
Meanwhile, current accounts and savings accounts (CASA) stood at RM23.4 billion, with higher CASA mix of 22.8 per cent.
AmBank Group chief executive officer Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir said the management was pleased with the group’s performance in the first half-year due to the good progress made particularly in terms of revenue growth and cost efficiency.
He said through its Business Efficiency Target 300 (BET300) programme, the group continued to embed cost discipline across all lines of business as it strove to improve cost efficiency.
On its prospects, he said while challenging external headwinds were expected, the outlook for Malaysia remained stable with gross domestic product projected to grow circa 4.5 per cent in 2019, supported by domestic demand with private consumption taking the lead.
“In tandem with a moderate economic outlook, the banking system loans growth is expected to grow around 4.6 per cent,” he added.
He said amid the softer outlook for the banking sector this year, the group was resolute in its strategic focus to deliver on revenue growth, cost efficiency and capital accretion. — Bernama