Malaysia's best domestic bank 2019: Maybank
As Asean’s fourth-largest bank by assets, Malaysia’s largest listed company and the most identifiable bank brand in its domestic market, Maybank continues to stand supreme in Malaysia through 2018 and 2019.
Chief executive Abdul Farid Alias, now in his sixth year at Maybank’s helm, has again presided over a solid year, even though his term has coincided with some of the most turbulent events in the country’s recent history. Loan growth and a crunch on overheads helped give a lift to net profit for calendar 2018, up 7.9% to RM8.11 billion ($1.9 billion).
While the numbers have been softer so far in 2019 – Maybank reported a 3.3% decline in net profit to RM1.81 billion for the first quarter – Alias is taking advantage of the buoyancy last year to adopt a conservative posture for bad loan provisions as Malaysia is buffeted by regional trade wars.
Maybank’s allowances for impaired loans and advances was up 18.6% in the first quarter. But revenues remain healthy, up 12.7% to RM13 billion in the first quarter – and Alias has set up the next three years with an ambitious target to extend a further RM50 billion in mortgages, equivalent to about 60% of its current book, and RM35 billion in domestic small and medium-sized enterprise financing, or about 90% of the bank’s current SME-related loans.
Maybank’s Islamic banking business has been a sweet spot, with the division reporting a 97% increase in pre-tax profit to RM896.6 million in 2018.