CIMB announced at the end of August a 34% increase in
April-June net profit at 889 million ringgit ($283 million).
Like many banks, the increase is down by lower loan loss
provisions. But where it differs is in the strong performance
in its Indonesian unit, with net profit in the first half of
this year at 1.13 trillion rupiah ($126 million).
The profit validates CIMBs successful bid to increase
its presence in the country this July when it received
regulatory approval to grab a further 19.67% stake in its
Indonesian unit, known as CIMB Niaga, from Khazanah Nasional.
The acquisition from the Malaysian governments investment
holding company gives CIMB effective majority control of the
banking unit in an economy that the IMF predicts will grow 6%
CIMB groups healthy profitability this year is not an
inevitable consequence of south-east Asias awe-inspiring
growth. Instead, the banks executives, led by Nazir
Razak, have transformed the institution over the past 20 years,
from a middle-tier investment bank in Malaysia to a
well-managed universal financial institution.
Underscoring its growing global presence, CIMB has, over the
past year, established an asset management business in Brunei
and has beefed up its Islamic investment banking capabilities
in Bahrain. This years steadfast move into Middle East
markets also represents growing cross-border liquidity flows
between Asia and the Gulf.