29/02/2024 02:06 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 29 (Bernama) -- Shares of banking sector counters, namely Hong Leong Bank  (HLB) and Maybank were up at noon following their positive result announcements. 

At 12.30 pm, HLB rose by 20 sen to RM19.82 and Maybank increased by 1.0 sen to RM9.52. 

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, HLB reported that its net profit for the first half of its 2024 financial year (1H FY2024) ended Dec 31, 2023 rose by 4.7 per cent to RM2.11 billion versus RM2.02 billion in 1H FY2023, amid strong loans/financing expansion, improved non-interest income and robust contributions from associates.

Revenue, however, slid to RM2.85 billion from RM2.98 billion previously.

Maybank also posted a higher net profit of RM9.35 billion for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2023 (FY2023) compared to RM7.96 billion in FY2022, and revenue grew to RM64.47 billion from RM49.42 billion previously. 

In a note today, Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd said HLB's 1H FY2024 net profit was within expectations.

“We maintain a 'outperform' call with a target price (TP) of RM24.20 per share," it said. 

Meanwhile, Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd (HLIB) expects Maybank's net interest margin (NIM) to be stable in the first quarter of 2024 (1Q 2024) as fixed deposit starts to exit a seasonally more competitive quarter.

“That said, loans growth may taper, given downward normalisation from a high base. We retain a 'hold' call with TP of RM9.20 per share," it said. 


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