(NST File Pix) Kenanga Research says CIMB’s exposure to the residential property segment is the highest among the four banks handling the special 1Malaysia People’s Housing Programme loan scheme.

KUALA LUMPUR: THE four local banks handling a special 1Malaysia People’s Housing Programme (PR1MA) loan scheme are likely to disburse up to RM5.7 billion to 15,000 first-time house buyers this year, said Kenanga Research in a note yesterday.

Malayan Banking Bhd, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, AmBank Group and RHB Banking Group are the panel banks for the Special PR1MA End-Financing (SPEF) scheme, which started on January 1 and ends on December 31 next year.

The scheme includes step-up financing and step-up financing with EPF Account 2 withdrawal options and a higher interest rate of 4.75 per cent, compared with the average interest rate of conventional loans of 4.45 per cent.

Kenanga Research yesterday said as the target for this year involved 15,000 houses at an average price of RM350,000 to RM400,000 per unit with 95 per cent financing, the banks would fork out between RM4.9 billion and RM5.7 billion in new loans.

This is equivalent to an extra 2.1 to 2.4 per cent to the aggregate of the banks’ total outstanding loans.

The firm said CIMB was likely to receive the bulk of the financing.

“While details are not clear on how the targeted 15,000 units will be carved out among the four banks, or who or how among them will get the bulk of the financing scheme, we believe that CIMB will acquire the most.

“CIMB’s exposure to the residential property segment is the highest among them, increasing by 13 basis points (bps) since the first quarter of last year, although its average lending yields (ALR) is the highest in the industry, standing at 5.16 in the third quarter of last year (versus the industry’s 4.55 per cent), implying higher appetite for mortgage loans,” said Kenanga Research.

It added that Maybank’s exposure to the property segment had been trending downwards despite the easing of its lending rates, implying lower appetite in this segment.

The firm noted that housing loans accounted for 23.5 per cent of the four banks’ combined loans as of the third quarter of last year.

Kenanga Research kept its “market perform” calls for most banking stocks in its coverage, except for Affin Holdings Bhd (underperform) and CIMB (outperform).

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