CIMB Group eyes 6pc loan growth this year

A pedestrian walks past a CIMB Bank Bhd bank branch in Jalan Raja Laut, Kuala Lumpur January 4, 2018. CIMB Group Holdings Bhd expects to secure a 6.0 per cent loan growth for its Malaysia operations this year. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
A pedestrian walks past a CIMB Bank Bhd bank branch in Jalan Raja Laut, Kuala Lumpur January 4, 2018. CIMB Group Holdings Bhd expects to secure a 6.0 per cent loan growth for its Malaysia operations this year. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 — CIMB Group Holdings Bhd expects to secure a 6.0 per cent loan growth for its Malaysia operations this year, higher than the forecast industry growth of about four per cent, said group chief executive officer Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz.

Meanwhile, CIMB’s loan growth in Indonesia would likely be six to eight per cent while Singapore and Thailand were expected to see five to 10 per cent growth, he said.

As a group, CIMB therefore hoped to achieve a 6.0 per cent loan growth despite a challenging market environment amid the Covid-19 outbreak and geopolitical uncertainties, Tengku Zafrul told a media briefing on the group’s results for the financial year ended December 31, 2019 (FY19) here today.

“The economic stimulus package announced yesterday would provide some liquidity (to the market). We expect Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) to be around 3.6-3.7 per cent this year where the stimulus package would add 50 basis points to the GDP,” he said.

In FY19, the banking group’s total gross loan grew by 6.7 per cent, surpassing its initial target of 6.0 per cent thanks to strong loan growth in Malaysia and Thailand.

The group’s non-performing loan stood at 3.1 per cent, while for the Malaysia market, it amounted at 2.1 per cent.

CIMB Group achieved return on average equity (ROE) of 9.3 per cent in FY19 and planned to secure between 9.0 and 9.5 per cent ROE this year, said Tengku Zafrul.

On Covid-19, he said the applications for restructuring and rescheduling financing facilities were expected to be small given the size of CIMB Group’s exposure to sectors most impacted like tourism, hospitality and food and beverages — between two and three per cent.

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure that any impact on our asset quality is contained.

“Although the situation is fast evolving and there are significant uncertainties, we believe the negative impact will be manageable given our strong capital position and risk management,” he added.

CIMB Group reported a lower net profit of RM4.56 billion for FY19 compared with RM5.58 billion in the preceding year. However, revenue grew 2.4 per cent year-on-year to RM17.80 billion. — Bernama

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