AMBANK GROUP TO DISBURSE UP TO RM6 BLN OF LOANS IN 2H 2020

ZARUL EFFENDI RAZALI

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 (Bernama) -- AMMB Holdings Bhd (AmBank Group) targets to disburse up to RM6 billion in loans in the second half of its financial year ending March 31, 2020 (H2 2020), driven by the current positive sentiment in the industry's loan growth segment.

Chief executive officer Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir said half of the loans would be from the corporate segment and the remainder from its retail, hire purchase and other segments.

At a media briefing on the group’s H1 2020 financial performance ended Sept 30, 2019, he said AmBank has also revised its loan growth target for H2 2020 downward to 5.0 per cent from 6.0 per cent previously.

He said growth in the group's gross loan was almost flat at RM102 billion for H1 2020 compared with RM101.8 billion recorded in H1 2019, due to large corporate repayments and non-performing loans (NPLs), among others.

“However, we are optimistic (in achieving the target) because the industry is expecting loan growth to be at 4.0-7.0 per cent and we think our loan growth will be around that level as well,” Sulaiman said.

Some of the projects financed by the bank were delayed in H1 2020, resulting in a flat loan growth, but the projects have since resumed, he said.

“ We are also seeing growth in the large corporate segment and we will also continue to grow the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) segment as well as the retails, particularly the mortgages,” he added.

For the second half of its financial year, he said AmBank also plans to stabilise its hire purchase business as the segment has been declining due to the bank’s de-risk exercise.

On prospects, he said despite expectations of challenging external headwinds, Malaysia’s outlook remains stable with gross domestic product projected to grow circa 4.5 per cent in 2019, supported by domestic demand led by private consumption .

"In tandem with a moderate economic outlook, the banking system loans are expected to grow around 4.6 per cent,” he added.

He said amid the softer outlook for the banking sector this year, the group remains resolute in its focus to deliver revenue growth, cost efficiency and capital accretion.

-- BERNAMA