Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia’s No.2 lender CIMB Group Holdings on Thursday announced a 10.3 percent increase in first-quarter net profit mainly due to stronger regional corporate banking and treasury markets businesses.
The bank posted a net profit of 1.01 billion ringgit ($321.14 million) in the quarter, compared with 916.54 million ringgit in the same quarter a year ago.
“The year has started well for us, driven by outperformance at the regional corporate banking and treasury markets divisions and sustained high growth momentum at CIMB Niaga [in Indonesia],” CIMB’s chief Nazir Razak said in a statement.
The bank has seen its regional units bearing fruit over the years and recently expanded its Asia presence further by acquiring some Asian operations of Royal Bank of Scotland and the unlisted banking arm of the Philippines’ San Miguel Corp.
CIMB’s results were broadly in line with the 1 billion ringgit net profit estimated by analysts tracked by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Eight out of 26 analysts polled by the data service held a “Strong Buy” or “Buy” call on the stock, 13 called the stock a “Hold” and five “Underperform” or “Sell.”
Nazir said CIMB remained optimistic despite the heightened downside risk to the global economy and markets.
“Our deal pipeline is strong and we believe that we can mitigate the expected slower growth in consumer lending across the region by improving liability management and improving non-interest income,” he said.
CIMB shares closed 0.14 percent higher on Thursday, underperforming the broader market that ended the day 0.55 percent higher.