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Cabotage policy reinstatement is top maritime council agenda

KUALA LUMPUR: The reinstatement of the cabotage policy and dealing with freight losses worth billions due to cargoes transported by foreign vessels were among the major issues discussed during the recent National Shipping and Port Council (NSPC) meeting. Lifting the cabotage policy has resulted in loss of business for Malaysian vessels with local freight carried […]


Reinstatement of cabotage policy tops agenda at maritime council meeting

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 ― The reinstatement of the cabotage policy and dealing with freight losses worth billions due to cargoes transported by foreign vessels were among the major issues discussed during the recent…


MARC affirms AAA rating on CGC

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Rating Corp Bhd (MARC) has affirmed its AAA financial institution (FI) rating on Credit Guarantee Corp Malaysia Bhd (CGC) with a stable outlook.

The rating reflects CGC’s public policy role as a development financial institution (DFI) for which the government through Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has continued to provide support. In its role, CGC provides credit guarantees on loans and financing extended to SMEs by FIs. BNM has a 78.7% interest in CGC, with the rest held by commercial banks.

“These factors are the basis for the rating agency to incorporate a high systemic support uplift from CGC’s standalone credit profile. The rating is also underpinned by CGC’s sound capitalisation, stable liquidity profile and conservative investment policy,” MARC said in a statement.

As at end-June 2018, CGC’s net loans guaranteed rose 7.5% to RM8.0 billion from end-2017, with the growth mainly coming from portfolio guarantee (PG) schemes, which accounted for about 80.1% of the total new guarantee amount during the period.

The strong growth of net loans guaranteed since 2016 following a clean-up exercise in that year has also been aided by an improved accessibility to financing through a simplified and structured approval process with participating financial institutions (PFIs). The approval process incorporates an integrated core credit evaluation process to improve turnaround time. MARC expects CGC’s growth momentum to continue over the near term, supported by PFIs transferring part of the risk on SME loans to the DFI.

Gross non-performing loans ratio has continued to improve, standing at 9.4% as at end-June 2018, lower than comparable peers within the DFI space. This stood well below past levels of above 30%, benefiting from the aforementioned clean-up exercise which entailed write-offs and winding down of old guarantee schemes.

Nonetheless, as a DFI mandated to support the development of SMEs, CGC will continue to be exposed to the higher risk associated with SME financing. Mitigating this risk is CGC’s strong capitalisation with a capital adequacy ratio of 32.5% as at end-June 2018 on a comparable Basel II basis. Its guarantee cover value-to-shareholders’ funds ratio stood at a healthy 2.5 times as at end-June 2018, well below the maximum permitted level of 6.0 times.

Operating income rose sharply by 24.4% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM253.6 million in 1H2018 on the back of higher investment income as well as higher guarantee fees in line with the increase in guaranteed loan base. MARC also notes that the sharp growth of PG schemes has increased the proportion of guarantee fee income to total income, standing at 29.6% as at end-June 2018. Net profit grew by 35.2% y-o-y to RM114.4 million, leading to an improvement in annualised return on assets and return on equity to 4.8% and 7.1% for 1H2018.

CGC continues to maintain a stable liquidity profile, supported by strong cash balances and term deposits, which collectively accounted for 23.2% of its total assets as at end-June 2018.

“MARC notes that while CGC has increased investment funds allocated to fixed income securities in the A-rated and unrated band for yield enhancement, the DFI adheres to a conservative investment policy. Of its significant holdings in fixed income securities, about 88.2% of its debt securities were rated AA and above,” it said.


ECB's Draghi 'confident' but cautious as risks loom

FRANKFURT, Dec 14 ― European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said yesterday the institution will withdraw a major pillar of its stimulus, crediting mass bond-buying with helping save the eurozone from crisis since its introduction in 2015. But…


ECB worries multiply even as money-printing presses stop

FRANKFURT: The European Central Bank is all but certain to formally end its lavish bond purchase scheme but will take an increasingly dim view on growth, raising the odds that its next step in removing stimulus will be delayed. The long-flagged end of bond buys must be irreversible for the sake of credibility, but with […]


Automotive sector still lags major organic catalysts

KUCHING: Malaysia’s automotive sector still lags major organic catalysts and as such, analysts pegged a ‘neutral’ view on the sector’s outlook next year. In a report, the research arm of AmInvestment Bank Bhd (AmInvestment) pointed out that the sector still lags major organic catalysts although 2018 received a boon from the tax holiday in June […]


Maybank IB maintains ‘buy’ call on CIMB

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 12 — Maybank IB Research has maintained its “buy” call on CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, while projecting the bank to record a faster earnings growth of 11 per cent into financial year (FY) 2019. The better projection was…


Global economy in 2019: Growth beginning to fray

WASHINGTON, Dec 12 — American farmers have been forced to warehouse a bumper crop of soybeans, or sell at a loss, while a Midwest medical supply company is considering shipping production overseas amid growing uncertainty. Surveys of US business…


CIMB partners PDRM to alert public on scams as cases continue to rise

KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Bank Bhd (CIMB) has partnered with the Royal Malaysian Police Kuala Lumpur (PDRM KL) on an Anti-Scam Campaign to raise awareness on various common scams, which this year occurred through 1,000 cases with losses amounting to RM72 million within the Klang Valley alone. The campaign with the theme “Beware, Be Aware, Stop […]


India appoints Modi ally as new central bank head

MUMBAI, Dec 11 — India’s government named an ally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the country’s new central bank chief today, a day after his predecessor quit following a dispute about government interference. Shaktikanta Das has been…