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Public Bank posts YOY decline in Q4'16 profit

Public Bank Bhd. expects operating conditions "to be even more challenging in 2017" as it reported a 0.6% year-over-year decline in fourth-quarter 2016 net profit.

Net profit attributable to equity holders for the quarter fell to 1.48 billion ringgit, or 38.4 sen per share, from 1.49 billion ringgit, or 38.6 sen per share.

The Malaysian bank said in a statement that it expects financial and foreign exchange markets to continue to face volatility due to policy uncertainties in the U.S., Brexit talks, political uncertainties in Europe, moderation in China's economic growth and volatility in global oil prices.

Net interest income increased year over year to 1.80 billion ringgit from 1.65 billion ringgit. Net fee and commission income rose to 411.8 million ringgit from 402.7 million ringgit in the prior-year quarter.

The group's allowance for impairment on loans, advances and financing fell to 37.1 million ringgit from 104.3 million ringgit.

The bank's full-year profit attributable to equity holders rose 2.9% to 5.21 billion ringgit, or 134.8 sen per share, from 5.06 billion ringgit, or 131.1 sen per share, in the prior-year period.

The group's impaired loan ratio remained stable at 0.5% as of Dec. 31, 2016.

Before deducting interim dividends, the group's total capital ratio was 15.976% as of Dec. 31, 2016, up from 15.941% as of the end of 2015. Its common equity Tier 1 and Tier 1 capital ratios were 11.864% and 12.718%, respectively, up from 11.401% and 12.565%, respectively, a year earlier.

After deducting interim dividends, the group's total capital ratio was 15.485% as of Dec. 31, 2016, up year over year from 15.425%. Its common equity Tier 1 and Tier 1 capital ratios were 11.373% and 12.227%, respectively, up from 10.886% and 12.049%, respectively, in the prior-year period.

As of Feb. 1, US$1 was equivalent to 4.43 Malaysian ringgit.