Teh’s successor at Public Bank awaiting BNM’s nod

Founder to vacate his position as nonexecutive chairman on Jan 1, 2019


Public Bank Bhd’s succession plan is in place and its new chairman will be introduced in due time, pending regulatory approval, shareholders were told yesterday.

CEO and MD Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek said the succession plan is subject to approval from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and any further updates on the new chairman will be announced at an appropriate time.

Public Bank had in July last year stated that its founder and shareholder Tan Sri Dr Teh Hong Piow plans to relinquish his position as non-executive chairman on Jan 1, 2019.

“Teh will then be appointed advisor where he’d provide guidance to support the continued growth of Public Bank and the group,” Tay told shareholders at the company’s AGM in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

According to Tay, some 45% of the bank’s staff at senior and mid-level management have been with the bank for a long time.

“The group’s structure is in place and these are the people to carry forward the culture,” he added.

Teh founded Public Bank on Dec 30, 1965, and has been with the group for 51 years. He currently helms the position of non-executive chairman of Public Islamic Bank Bhd and Public Investment Bank Bhd, two wholly owned subsidiaries of Public Bank.

Presume to be the country’s largest AGM, a total of 6,030 shareholders showed up for Public Bank’s 52nd annual meeting.

In a statement yesterday, Teh said the group is committed to delivering consistent returns to its shareholders and enhancing the long-term value of its shareholders’ investment.

“If a shareholder of Public Bank had bought 1,000 shares in Public Bank when it was listed in 1967, and assuming the shareholder had 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 as at today.

“In addition, he would have received a total gross dividend of RM1.3 million and 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,” Teh noted.

In terms of expansion, Public Bank plans to open another six new branches in Vietnam this year.

Tay said Public Bank has opened six branches in Vietnam in 2017 and seven in the year before after Public Bank Vietnam had became a wholly owned subsidiary of Public Bank in April 2016.

“There is an ongoing plan to expand its branch network and customer reach. Given the present operating environment in Vietnam, Public Bank Vietnam will continue to face keen market competition and challenges in building its pool of human resource,” Tay added.

He said the group will leverage on its established presence in Vietnam and its strong understanding of local business condition and culture to address the challenges.

The group would continue to focus on growing low-cost deposits by intensifying cross-selling activities and tapping on its Internet banking platform.

“Public Bank has been consciously and cautiously balancing between deposit growth and cost of funds, while proactively maintaining a healthy funding position to support business growth and regulatory compliance,” he added.