Friday 26 May 2023




For the first quarter ended 31 March 2023, the Public Bank Group

recorded pre-tax profit growth of 10.4% to RM2.21 billion, as compared

with the corresponding quarter in 2022. Net profit grew at a higher rate of

22.6% to RM1.71 billion during the same period, due to the prosperity tax

imposed in the previous corresponding period.

Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Tay Ah Lek, Managing Director and Chief Executive

Officer of Public Bank commented, “The Public Bank Group continued

to navigate through the challenges in the evolving operating

environment and demonstrated resilience in its first quarter 2023

performance, which was mainly supported by commendable net

interest income growth and lower loan impairment allowances.”

Net interest income increased by 7.4%, mainly led by healthy loans and

deposits growth which expanded at an annualised growth rate of 5.0%

and 9.1% respectively. Coupled with lower impairment allowances during

the quarter, the Group sustained a resilient net return on equity of 13.6%.

Despite high inflationary pressure, increase in operating expenses was

well under control at 4.7%, underpinned by the Group’s prudent cost

management. As a result, the Group continued to achieve an efficient

cost-to-income ratio of 33.1% in the first quarter of 2023.

Asset quality remained stable with a low gross impaired loans ratio of

0.5%. Loan impairment allowances were lower by 98.5% to RM1.5 million

from RM99.7 million in the corresponding quarter of 2022.

Loans and Deposits Businesses

During the first quarter ended March 2023, the Public Bank Group

maintained a healthy loan growth momentum at an annualised growth

rate of 5.0% to RM381.6 billion, largely supported by the domestic loan

portfolios which grew by an annualised rate of 5.4% to RM356.8 billion.

Domestic loan growth was mainly contributed by residential properties

financing, hire purchase financing as well as SME financing, which grew

at an annualised rate of 6.1%, 11.5% and 2.7% respectively. This has

sustained the Group’s leading market share in the residential properties

financing, hire purchase financing and domestic SME lending, which

stood at 20.6%, 30.4% and 19.0% respectively.

The Group’s funding and liquidity position remained healthy, supported

by a commendable growth in customer deposits at an annualised rate of

9.1% to RM403.7 billion. Domestic deposits rose by 10.2% on an

annualised basis to RM376.5 billion, attributable to the consistent growth

in retail deposits.

Reflecting its healthy balance sheet, the Public Bank Group continued to

maintain a stable gross loan to fund and equity ratio of 80.4% as at the

end of March 2023.

Asset Quality

As at the end of March 2023, the Public Bank Group continued to achieve

and maintain sound and resilient asset quality as reflected in its low gross

impaired loans ratio of 0.5%, a level significantly lower than the domestic

banking industry’s average gross impaired loan ratio of 1.7%.

The Group’s loan loss coverage ratio stood comfortably at 217.8%, well

above the banking industry’s loan loss coverage ratio of 95.8%. Including

regulatory reserves, the Group’s loan loss coverage ratio was higher at


With the ongoing economic recovery, the Group has observed a stable

repayment trend from customers. However, amidst the expected

economic challenges in 2023, the Group will stay vigilant in managing its

loan portfolios and will continue to provide assistance to customers who

face repayment constraints.

Non-interest Income

In the first quarter of 2023, non-interest income increased marginally by

0.7% as compared with the corresponding quarter in 2022. The subdued

market conditions was cushioned by the Group’s higher foreign

exchange profit, stockbroking income as well as investment income.

The Public Bank Group’s unit trust business undertaken by its wholly

owned subsidiary, Public Mutual remained the main contributor to the

Group’s non-interest income. Public Mutual recorded a pre-tax profit of

RM192.6 million in the current quarter, contributing 8.7% to the Group’s

profit. With total assets under management of RM94.4 billion and 179

unit trust funds being managed, Public Mutual continued to capture a

large retail market share of 35.7% as at the end of March 2023.

Overseas Operations

In the first quarter of 2023, the Public Bank Group’s overseas operations

contributed 8.1% to the Group’s profit, mainly attributed to its Hong Kong

and Indochina operations.

Public Bank Vietnam and Cambodian Public Bank continued to deliver

strong profit performance, as reflected in the respective double-digit profit

growth of 24.5% and 59.8% year-on-year. Indochina will continue to be

the Group’s key focus growth area, with continued expansion of branch

network as well as broadening of products and services. The Group is

targeting to open another 8 new branches in Vietnam to reach a total of

40 branches by year end.

However, the operating environment for the Group’s Hong Kong

operations remain uncertain and challenging despite the lifting of COVID19 

containment measures.

Capital and Liquidity Position

As at the end of March 2023, the Group remained well capitalised with

common equity Tier 1 capital ratio, Tier 1 capital ratio and total capital

ratio standing at 14.6%, 14.7% and 17.7% respectively. Liquidity

coverage ratio also remained stable and healthy at 137.1%.

The Group’s capital and liquidity position has remained sound and is

resilient to any potential stress condition. The Group will continue to

manage its balance sheet prudently in pursuit of its banking business


Group’s Prospects

The heightened volatility in the financial markets and rising concerns

about the health of banking sectors across the United States and Europe

raise question on the potential risk of contagion effects. This is likely to

further exert downward pressure on the world economy which is already

bracing for a challenging 2023 due to elevated inflation, tightening

financial conditions and geopolitical tensions. Malaysia as an open

economy, will continue to face these headwinds.

Nevertheless, firm domestic demand underpinned by improved

employment market, multi-year investment projects, Government’s policy

measures and recovery in China’s economy will continue to support the

Malaysian economy on the positive growth trajectory, providing a stable

and conducive business environment for banking business growth.

Tan Sri Tay concluded, “The Public Bank Group is cognisant of the

prevailing challenges and evolving landscape. The Group will

remain focused on cost discipline, preservation of sound asset

quality and upholding strong corporate governance to safeguard its

resilience against adversity. Notwithstanding, the Group will

continue to take a proactive approach in embracing growth

opportunities arising from the growing economy, digital

transformation as well as the growing ESG demand.”

25 May 2023

For more information, please contact:

Ms Chang Siew Yen Ms Yik Sook Ling

Senior Chief Operating Officer Chief Financial Officer

Tel: (603) 2176 7461 Tel: (603) 2177 3310

Fax: (603) 2163 9925 Fax: (603) 2164 9002

Email: Email:

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