BIMB says the Malaysian banking sector is expected to remain stable in 2019 despite ongoing challenges
By FARA AISYAH / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS
Improved earnings of Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd and Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga Bhd drove BIMB Holdings Bhd’s fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 (4Q18), to a 7.85% growth to RM161.39 million from RM149.64 million in the previous corresponding quarter.
Revenue for the three-month period also rose 17.89% year-on-year (YoY) to RM1.12 billion from RM946.04 million. Earnings per share (EPS) stood at 9.53 sen against 9.14 sen in 4Q17.
For the full financial year (FY18), the Islamic financial holding company’s net profit grew 10% to RM682.06 million from RM619.84 million, while revenue jumped 12.9% to RM4.2 billion from RM3.72 billion posted in FY17.
“We are very pleased to announce that the strong performance translates to an after-tax return on equity (ROE) of 15.4%, outpacing most industry peers,” BIMB CEO Mohd Muazzam Mohamed (picture) said in a statement yesterday.
“(FY18) EPS was also higher at 40.36 sen compared to 37.94 sen in the previous financial year, while net asset per share improved to RM2.97 compared to RM2.77 as at the end of December 2017,” he added.
The group’s performance is mainly dependent on its two main subsidiaries — Bank Islam and Takaful Malaysia.
For the 12-month period, Bank Islam’s profit before zakat and taxation (PBZT) increased 5.6% to RM810.3 million against RM767.1 million a year ago.
The income growth was a result of the increase in the base rate and base financing rate by 25 basis points effective February 2018, and a strong financing growth of 8.5%.
The bank’s financing grew RM3.6 billion to reach RM45.7 billion in FY18, with the asset quality remaining strong and resilient, despite the robust expansion and challenging economic environment.
Its strong assets quality was reflected in the low gross impaired financing ratio of 0.92%, lower than the 0.93% registered at the end of 2017, which compared positively against the 1.49% registered by the banking system as at end-November 2018.
Bank Islam’s deposits also increased RM3.7 billion YoY, while investment accounts improved by RM900 million.
Meanwhile, Takaful Malaysia’s PBZT jumped 32.9% to RM337 million for FY18, compared to RM253.7 million last year, attributable to higher net wakalah fee income arising from the robust business growth in the family and general takaful businesses.
Its operating revenue rose 23.4% in the year to RM2.64 billion from RM2.14 billion in FY17, due to higher sales generated by both family and general takaful businesses.
For the 12-month period, family takaful’s gross earned contributions grew 27.2% to RM1.61 billion, mainly attributable to higher sales from credit-related products, while general takaful’s gross earned contributions were up 23.7% to RM685.8 million, contributed by the fire and motor classes.
Moving forward, BIMB said the Malaysian banking sector is expected to remain stable in 2019, despite ongoing challenges such as moderating loan growth and margins.
“Industry loan growth is expected to moderate to 5.1% in 2019 from 6.2% in 2018,” the group noted, adding that despite the challenging outlook for the banking industry, Islamic finance is expected to continue to be a major growth contributor to the banking industry.