Maybank Islamic sees financing assets grow 8% in 2017, says CEO

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 5): Maybank Islamic Bhd is forecasting its financing assets to grow by 8% in 2017, driven by the demand in consumer-related financing products, growing interest from small and medium enterprises, and pick-up in corporate and investment banking activities, said its chief executive officer Datuk Mohamed Rafique Merican Mohd Wahiduddin Merican.

The forecast by the nation's largest shariah-compliant lender is in line with the projection by BIMB Holdings Bhd, the holding entity of the stand-alone Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd, in which the latter is seeing its financing assets to grow by 8% in 2017, higher than the average banking industry growth of between 5% and 6%.

However, he noted that Maybank Islamic's financing growth forecast this year is lower than what it had chalked last year, which came in at 14% in 2016, but "still outperformed" the average industry growth of 11%.

"We still need to see a broad-based growth across all industries. When it comes to growth, it will not be as widespread as we saw in the past but with the recent acceleration in the economic growth number, perhaps the momentum will start to pick up," Mohamed Rafique told reporters after opening the Islamic Banking and Finance Media Workshop 2.0, which was organised by the National Press Club Malaysia in collaboration with Maybank Islamic.

Despite the anticipated dip in the lender's financing growth this year, he stressed that the country's Islamic banking institutions had been growing at "phenomenal rate" since the last five years, which was double the growth booked by the conventional banking institutions.

From December 2011 to March 2017, Maybank Islamic saw its total assets increase at a compound annual growth rate of 18% to RM181.5 billion, making it the fifth largest Shariah-compliant lender in the world.

At noon break today, shares in Maybank — Southeast Asia's fourth largest bank — paused at RM9.42, giving it a market capitalisation of RM99.55 billion, the largest on the local bourse.