CIMB remains resilient and well-capitalised to withstand shocks despite market volatility and Covid-19

(L-R) Dato’ Abdul Rahman Ahmad, Group CEO of CIMB Group and Datuk Mohd Nasir Ahmad, Chairman of CIMB Group

During CIMB Group’s 63rd Annual General Meeting (“AGM”), all 11 tabled resolutions were successfully passed, including the audited financial statements for the financial year ended 31 December 2019.

The meeting held virtually for the first time was chaired by Datuk Mohd Nasir Ahmad, Chairman of CIMB Group, with the Board of Directors of CIMB Group of companies and Dato’ Abdul Rahman Ahmad, Group CEO of CIMB Group in attendance.

CIMB performed credibly in FY2019, with a 7.7 percent year-on-year (“YoY”) improvement in core net profit to RM5.01 billion with a significant increase of 56 percent in dividend payout. The Group achieved a Return On Average Equity (“ROE”) of 9.3 percent and its capital position strengthened further with a CET1 ratio of 12.9 percent.

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to record my appreciation to all our stakeholders for their continued confidence and support over the years,” Nasir Ahmad said at the AGM. In recent months, we have seen CIMB’s purpose of advancing customers and society coming into sharper focus as people and businesses face the increasingly wide-ranging impact of Covid-19 on their livelihoods.

The banking sector has played and will continue to play an essential role during this pandemic, and in line with Government initiatives, CIMB remains steadfast in their commitment to help ease the financial burden of our customers.

“Despite the pandemic and resulting market volatility, CIMB remains resilient and well-capitalised to withstand shocks. Our high standards of governance were also reaffirmed by the business continuity during our leadership transition period at the height of the pandemic,” Nasir Ahmad added. The Board looks forward to working with the newly minted Group CEO to navigate the urgent challenges amidst the rapidly changing banking and economic landscape.

Nasir Ahmad emphasised that the Group remains focused on capital optimisation and strategic initiatives under the Group’s mid-term strategy Forward23, to ensure its long-term resilience.

“The Group will also continue to be prudent in its approach in terms of credit underwriting to achieve the right balance between profitability and growth.”

According to Abdul Rahman, CIMB’s utmost priority during this period has been helping affected customers to navigate the challenges.

“Across the region, we are working closely with governments and regulators to contribute towards effective policies to help ease the immediate financial constraints of local communities and businesses during this challenging period,” Abdul Rahman said.

The 6-month automatic moratorium in Malaysia has provided significant relief to CIMB’s customers, particularly within the B40 segment and SMEs. As at end-May, the moratorium has benefitted over 1.3 million retail customers and over 16,000 SMEs and corporate clients in terms of cash flow alleviation to help them face the challenging environment.

“The focus for CIMB, as with other financial institutions, will move towards a more targeted assistance approach where we will engage borrowers from the hardest hit sectors to extend support and restructure terms where necessary,” Abdul Rahman added.

The Malaysian economy is expected to recover due to stimulus measures, and the recent easing of the lockdown should bring about a faster rebound. Added to that, CIMB banking system is also far more resilient today compared to previous crises.

“However, we remain vigilant for the rest of 2020, focusing on enhancing our risk management and ensuring that our liquidity ratios remain at a comfortable level. Against the challenging backdrop, I remain confident that CIMB is in a strong position to withstand the negative shocks from Covid-19 given our discipline, agility and unwavering focus,” Nasir  Ahmad concluded.

In addition, CIMB has approved over RM1 billion of relief funds to SMEs, of which RM700 million is under the Bank Negara Malaysia’s Special Relief Fund (“SRF/ SRF-i”). The Bank is also fully committed to supporting the Government’s newly launched RM1 billion PENJANA financing scheme for SMEs.

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