KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 -- Public Bank Bhd's net profit slid to RM1.33 billion in the first quarter ended March 31, 2020 (Q1) from RM1.41 billion recorded in the same period last year.
Revenue fell to RM5.51 billion versus RM5.57 billion while basic earnings per share stood at 34.24 sen against 36.32 sen before.
In a statement, its founder, chairman emeritus, director and adviser, Tan Sri Dr Teh Hong Piow, said the global economy started the year with major challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Downside pressure on the economy was further compounded with the steep fall in global oil prices. Coupled with the reductions in the overnight policy rate (OPR) which have weighed on net interest margins, domestic banks faced heightened earnings pressure in the first quarter of 2020.
“However, the group maintained its resilient fundamentals as reflected in its stable gross impaired loan ratio of 0.5 per cent and efficient cost-to-income ratio of 35.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2020."
He said moving forward, the operating environment for the banking industry is poised to be more challenging this year.
“With the extremely difficult economic conditions in 2020 and the reductions in OPR, banks will face higher earnings pressure this year. Public Bank group will focus on enhancing its core strengths in terms of risk management and productivity,” Teh said.
The Group’s strong fundamental and resilience will position the bank in good stead to overcome any challenges, and to pursue further business growth when the economy recovers from the outbreak, he added.
Public Bank will continue to operate efficiently, maintain prudence in the management of credit risk and asset quality, and manage liquidity and capital proactively to ensure liquidity and capital positions are maintained at healthy levels at all times, while preserving strong corporate governance and sound risk management practices.
Given the extremely challenging economic environment, loans growth is expected to be moderate in 2020, he said.
Malaysia National News Agency
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