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Malaysia's Public Bank posts YOY rise in Q4'17 profit

Public Bank Bhd. reported a year-over-year increase in profit for the fourth quarter of 2017, helped by higher net interest income and net fee and commission income.

The group reported fourth-quarter profit attributable to equity holders of 1.49 billion ringgit, or 38.5 sen per share, inching up from 1.48 billion ringgit, or 38.4 sen per share, in the prior-year period.

Net interest income for the quarter climbed to 1.89 billion ringgit from 1.80 billion ringgit. Net income from Islamic banking business rose to 252.9 million ringgit from 232.0 million ringgit. The bank said net fee and commission income increased to 445.7 million ringgit from 411.8 million ringgit.

Operating revenue rose to 5.35 billion ringgit from 5.08 billion ringgit. Operating profit climbed to 1.97 billion ringgit from 1.76 billion ringgit.

Allowance for impairment on loan, advances and financing totaled 23.8 million ringgit, compared to a writeback of 37.1 million ringgit in the prior-year quarter.

For the 2017 full year, the group posted a year-over-year increase in profit attributable to equity holders to 5.47 billion ringgit, or 1.417 ringgit per share, from 5.21 billion ringgit, or 1.348 ringgit per share.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus estimates for normalized EPS and GAAP EPS were 1.38 ringgit and 1.37 ringgit, respectively, for the 2017 full year.

Before deducting interim dividends, the group's total capital ratio was 16.494% as of Dec. 31, 2017, up from 15.976% at Dec. 31, 2016. Its common equity Tier 1 and Tier 1 ratios were 12.758% and 13.538%, respectively, up from 11.864% and 12.718%, respectively, at Dec. 31, 2016.

After deducting interim dividends, the group's total capital ratio came to 15.984% as of the end of 2017, up from 15.485% at the end of 2016. Its common equity Tier 1 and Tier 1 ratios were 12.248% and 13.028%, respectively, up from 11.373% and 12.227% at the end of 2016.

The group declared a second interim dividend of 34 sen per share for 2017, up from 32 sen per share for 2016. Including its first interim dividend of 27 sen per share, the group's total dividend for 2017 came to 61 sen per share, up from 58 sen per share in 2016.

As of Feb. 21, US$1 was equivalent to 3.91 Malaysian ringgit.