Maybank says it will remain focused on preserving margins against a backdrop of rising rates across home markets, as part of its 2018 strategy. NST picture by NURUL SHAFINA JEMENON.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malayan Banking Bhd expects its three “home markets” - Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore - to continue seeing stable growth this year, after posting a record-breaking 2017.

Group president Datuk Seri Abdul Farid Alias said Maybank also set a key performance indicator (KPI) target of 11 per cent on return on equity this year.

Farid said Maybank is set to benefit from sustained growth momentum of the services sector and a recovery in construction sector in Singapore.

The group’s expected loan growth in Indonesia will be supported by the subdued interest rate environment and government infrastructure projects.

Back on the local front, Farid said sustained consumption and investment growth is set to drive Malaysia’s economy, while exports and imports will expand further on the back of the global growth momentum.

As part of its 2018 strategy, Maybank will remain focused on preserving margins against a backdrop of rising rates across home markets, he said.

It would also maintain pricing discipline in loans as it adopts the new Malaysian Financial Reporting Standards (MFRS) 9 accounting standard, Farid said in the group's annual report.

Maybank, the country’s largest banking group, achieved its best ever results in its 57-year history, registering RM7.52 billion net profit last year.

Farid said it stands to benefit from the 25 basis points hike in Malaysia’s overnight policy rate in January,

The group, he added, remained cautious as competition in the market could intensify later this year due to the adoption of the Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) implementation in 2019.

“As such, we will continue to maintain stable liquidity risk indicators, ahead of the NSFR adoption. We will strengthen existing revenue drivers by focusing on pockets of opportunities in both consumer and corporate lending, as well as capturing regional opportunities through our footprint and franchise,” he said.

Maybank will also continue to exercise strict cost-discipline and look for opportunities to tighten its productivity levers across the group, Farid added.

To keep ahead and remain relevant to its customers, he said Maybank will intensify growth digitally by accelerating its customers’ migration to its digital platforms, enhancing its distribution channels and improving its capabilities to offer customers what they need when they need it and to pursue new revenue streams.

Chairman Datuk Mohaiyani Shamsudin said Maybank had paid a full-year dividend payout of RM5.89 billion or 55 sen per share last year.

“We also continued to deliver one of the highest dividend yields in the region of 5.6 per cent,” Mohaiyani added.

She said Maybank was recognised as the fifth most valuable bank brand in Asean and the only bank in Southeast Asia to retain the World Branding Awards – Brand of the Year for four consecutive years.

As part of its inclusiveness and diversity agenda, Maybank had strengthened women’s contributions to the group, she said.

“About 31 per cent of our top management positions are filled by women, with an even wider representation of women in management at 45 per cent,” Mohaiyani added.