Maybank falls 1.6% on weaker 3Q profit, downgrades



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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 27): Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) shed as much as 15 sen or 1.6% to RM9.52, before reducing losses, after the group reported weaker third quarter profit from a year earlier.

Maybank shares were traded at RM9.55 at 3.30pm, with 1.99 million shares having changed hands. At 4.11pm, the stock was traded at the same price, with some 2.3 million shares done.

The negative reaction to Maybank's share price was due to a 7.9% drop in its net profit to RM1.61 billion for the third quarter ended December 31, 2014, from RM1.75 billion a year earlier.

Maybank's weaker numbers have invited analyst downgrades. Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd cut its target price for Maybank shares to RM11, from RM12 previously.

“The key deviations were mainly lower net premium in insurance business of RM268.6 million, vs. our expectation of RM287 million in our FY14E forecast.

“Otherwise, Maybank’s nine months of financial year ending 2014 (9M14) results would have been more favourable, as 9M14 fund-based income expanded by 7.4%, driven by a year-to-date group loan growth of 7% (still short of management’s target of 14% for 2014), while impaired loan allowances were sharply lower by 44.5% year-on-year,” Affin Hwang wrote in a note today.