Malayan Banking Bhd. (MAY), Malaysia’s biggest lender, said second-quarter profit increased nine percent, driven by higher lending and broking income as Southeast Asia’s economies continued to grow.
Net income climbed to a record 1.57 billion ringgit ($477 million), or 18.2 sen per share in the three months ended June 30 from 1.44 billion ringgit, or 18.7 sen per share a year earlier, the lender, also known as Maybank, said in a stock exchange filing today. The Kuala Lumpur-based bank proposed a dividend of 22.5 sen per share, down from 32 sen a year ago.
Private sector spending has gained momentum since Malaysia’s May general election and growth should accelerate in the second half, Abdul Wahid Omar, the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of economic planning, said in an interview yesterday. Southeast Asia’s third-biggest economy probably climbed 4.7 percent last quarter from a year earlier, according to Bloomberg survey of economists. The government plans to release growth data later today.
“Our results have been strong due to our well-diversified portfolio and continuing focus to improve performance despite the challenging external environment,” Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor, Maybank’s chairman, told reporters in the capital today. “We are confident we can further solidify this position.”
Net interest income, or revenue from borrowers after deducting interest paid to depositors, gained 3.1 percent to 2.36 billion ringgit in the second quarter, Maybank said. Non-interest income gained 27 percent to 1.75 billion ringgit, while profit from Islamic banking increased 18 percent to 666.1 million ringgit.
Maybank promoted Abdul Farid Alias to be chief executive officer this month after Abdul Wahid was recruited by Prime Minister Najib Razak to become a minister.
He’s been tasked with helping the lender accelerate expansion beyond Malaysia as it seeks a presence in all 10 Southeast Asian countries by 2015. Maybank has options to set up a commercial bank in Thailand, Abdul Farid told reporters in Kuala Lumpur today.
“We are not rushing to make any decision at this moment,” he said.
Shares of Maybank rose 0.2 percent at the midday break ahead of earnings in Kuala Lumpur and have jumped 8.5 percent this year, compared with a 3.3 percent gain in the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index.
Maybank took a controlling stake in PT Bank Internasional Indonesia (BNII) in 2008 and Singapore brokerage Kim Eng Holdings Ltd. in 2011. The lender said it generates more than 90 percent of its profits from Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.
“Our aim moving forward is to target growth areas that can provide us greater earnings upside,” Abdul Farid said in a separate statement.