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AMMB Holdings Bhd’s (AmBank Group) capital levels remain adequate to support its four year growth plans to 2020, despite a shaky 2016 financial year performance. Pix by Muhd Zaaba Zakeria

KUALA LUMPUR: AMMB Holdings Bhd’s (AmBank Group) capital levels remain adequate to support its four year growth plans to 2020, despite a shaky 2016 financial year performance.

Speaking to reporters at the conclusion of the group's 25th Annual General Meeting (AGM), group chief executive officer Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir said the bank is still on track to meet its internal target of becoming one of the Top Four banking groups by 2020.

"Yes, if you look at the numbers in terms of net profit, there is a sharp decline from RM1.9 billion in 2015 to RM1.3 billion in 2016," he said in reference to AmBank Group's performance for the financial year ended 31st March 2016.

"This is because we received a one off payment of RM812 million for the sale of shares in our insurance and Takaful business to MetLife International Holdings Inc in 2015, which subsequently pushed up our results. We did not enjoy such an exercise in 2016 and coupled with the challenging operating environment, I am still very pleased that we can achieved the results we did."

Going forward, the bank has set aside numerous key performance indicator KPI) targets for the 2017 and 2018 financial years.

These include growing its return of equity (ROE) to between 9.5 to 10.5 per cent; maintaining its profit after tax minority interest (PATAMI) at 10 per cent and bringing down its cost-to-income (CTI) ratio to below 50 per cent.

"We are projecting our loans growth to be below six per cent this year, or in line with the industry," said Sulaiman, while noting that the bank registered a growth of 2.5 per cent in this segment in 2016.

As before, Sulaiman said the bank will continue to leverage its expertise within its key growth segments namely; mass affluent, affluent, small and medium enterprises (SME) and mid corporate.

"We still see opportunities within these segments particularly in the SMEs and mid-corporates especially in light of all the mega infrastructure programs that are ongoing in Malaysia," he said.

"We would also like to focus more on our stockbroking market share, which has enjoyed an increase because of higher foreign broker trades."

The group's total dividend payout for financial year 2016 is 15.5 sen, which is at a ratio of 36 per cent compared to 43 per cent in 2015.

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