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KUALA LUMPUR: In the first AGM after the announcement of Public Bank Bhd chairman Tan Sri Dr Teh Hong Piow’s retirement, shareholders took the opportunity to express their gratitude and commend him on his leadership of the group.
The AGM, which was the last AGM for Teh as non-executive chairman, saw a total of 6,030 shareholders in attendance today.
The subject of Teh’s retirement dominated the meeting, with shareholders asking about the group’s succession plan.
Shareholders took the opportunity today to thank him for his leadership and service, and wished him the best while others requested that he reconsider his decision to retire.
“I am 92 years old and you are only 88, you should stay on,” said one of the shareholders, who proceeded to sing a birthday song for Teh, who celebrated his birthday last month.
In July last year, the group announced Teh’s plans to relinquish his position as non-executive chairman of Public Bank on Jan 1, 2019, upon which he will be bestowed the title of chairman emeritus and appointed adviser.
As chairman emeritus and adviser, Teh will provide guidance to support the continued growth of Public Bank and the group.
Teh founded Public Bank on Dec 30, 1965 and has been with the group for 51 years. He retired as chairman of Public Islamic Bank Bhd and Public Investment Bank Bhd on Jan 1, 2018.
Managing director Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek, who thanked shareholders for the sentiments expressed, said Teh, who will continue to provide guidance, advice and mentorship to the group, has built a strong structure with a culture of prudence and discipline within the group over the years.
“These are the very important fundamentals that are already in place and will continue to drive the bank. The culture will stay. We can tell you that we have a very large number of long-serving staff with us. Some 45% of our staff are senior staff and also middle management staff, who have been with us for a long time.”
Tay said the chairmanship and directorship of the group are subject to the approval of the central bank. He said Teh’s successor will be announced at the appropriate time and assured shareholders that the board’s succession is always in place.
Teh was proud to note that if a shareholder of Public Bank had bought 1,000 shares in Public Bank when it was listed in 1967, and subscribed for all rights issues to date and had not sold any of the Public Bank shares, he would have 148,938 Public Bank shares worth RM3.5 million to date and received a total gross dividend of RM1.3 million.
This translates into a total value of RM4.8 million, representing a remarkable compounded annual rate of return of 19% for each of the 50 years since 1967.
“The group is confident that its strong fundamentals will enable it to stay resilient and flexible as well as seize opportunities when they arise.
“Against the backdrop of an increasingly more challenging and complex operating environment, the group’s key priorities are to accelerate business and digital innovation as well as pursue operational efficiency,” Teh said in a statement.
He said the group’s business model building on its organic growth strategy in the retail banking business, coupled with its prudent credit policies as well as strong risk management practices, will remain the group’s key strengths to sustain continued business and profitability growth.
On Bursa Malaysia today, Public Bank rose 0.41% or 10 sen to close at RM24.30 with 1.87 million shares traded.