Hong Leong Bank Q2 earnings up 24%, declares 16 sen dividend

PETALING JAYA: Hong Leong Bank Bhd’s net profit for the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2017 rose 24.2% to RM683.07 million from RM549.94 million a year ago mainly due to higher net income, lower allowance for impairment losses on loans, advances and financing as well as higher share of profit from associated company.

Its revenue was up 4.2% to RM1.23 billion compared with RM1.18 billion in the previous year’s corresponding quarter.

The bank proposed an interim single tier dividend of 16 sen per share for the current quarter.

For the six months period, its net profit increased 21% to RM1.32 billion RM1.09 billion mainly due to higher net income, write back of impairment losses on financial investments and higher share of profit from associated company.

Revenue, meanwhile, went up 5.8% to RM2.41 billion compared with RM2.27 billion in the previous year’s corresponding period.

Its gross loans, advances and financing expanded marginally by 1.8% to RM125.5 billion for the first half of the year, due to moderate industry credit growth and cautious business sentiment. Net interest margin remained healthy at 2.13%, an increase of 8 basis points on prudent pricing and funding cost management.

In terms of asset quality, the bank’s gross impaired ratio and impairment coverage ratio stood at 0.97% and 96% respectively, with no significant credit stresses in its portfolio.

On prospects, Hong Leong Bank said continued moderate growth outlook in the is expected to facilitate further expansion of the Malaysian economy in 2018. In addition, a steady labour market and continuous wage growth are expected to boost consumer sentiments whilst providing the backdrop for improving private consumption growth and base for sustained domestic demand.

“This improving outlook will provide the bank with the impetus to continue pursuing growth in both our domestic and regional business via our strategic branches by embedding ourselves in the communities that we serve and strengthening our digital offerings.”

At 12.30pm, Hong Leong Bank shares gained 32 sen or 1.8% to RM18.54, with some 200,000 shares changing hands.

Source: The Sun Daily

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