(left) Tengku Dato' Sri Zafrul Aziz, Group Chief Executive Officer, CIMB Group, (right) Shahnaz Jammal, Group Chief Financial Officer, CIMB Group

CIMB Group Holdings Berhad today announced a record net profit of RM3.29 billion for the first half of 2018 (1H18). This was mainly bolstered by the sale of 20 per cent of CIMB-Principal Asset Management and 10 per cent of CIMB-Principal Islamic Asset Management, amounting to RM928 million.

On a Business-as-Usual (BAU) basis, profit before tax (PBT) was RM3.27 million, resulting in a net profit of RM2.36 billion. This represents a 7.4 percent year-on-year (YoY) growth on PBT and a 3.3 per cent YoY growth on net profit for the group. The group also declared a first interim net dividend of RM0.13 per share, amounting to a payment of approximately RM1.22 billion. This represents a dividend payout ratio of 51.6 per cent of net profit.

Lower operating expenses, as well as a strong performance from the consumer banking and commercial banking arms contributed to this growth. However, the weaker capital markets in Malaysia post-GE14 resulted in a lower profit for the wholesale banking arm.

On the international front, CIMB’s non-Malaysian segments contributed 34 per cent of profit before tax for 1H18. Indonesia’s PBT decreased 5.6 per cent YoY due to a weakening of the rupiah; Thailand’s PBT contribution was a 50.3 per cent YoY increase; and Singapore had a 5.1 per cent YoY increase.

CIMB Group is cautious on growth prospects for 2018, in view of rising global trade tensions and market uncertainties. While Malaysia’s slower-than-expected GDP growth is within the group’s forecast, CIMB will continue to track the regional economy and investment climate closely.

Group Chief Executive Officer, Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz said: “We remain focused on achieving our 2018 targets, subject to recovery of capital markets, and continued improvement in asset quality across Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore.” He continued “We are finalising our next mid-term growth plan which will be strongly premised on customers,  people and sustainability, among others.”