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RETAIL BANKING | Tony Chua, Malaysia

Public Bank profit up 15% to $288mn

Malaysia’s economic rise makes its banking industry stable and supportive of growth.

Public Bank Bhd., Malaysia’s third- biggest lender, said third-quarter profit increased 15 percent, driven by higher net interest income and investing banking fees.

Net income rose to 898.8 million ringgit ($288 million) in the three months ended Sept. 30, from 782.7 million ringgit a year earlier, the Kuala Lumpur-based lender said in an exchange filing today. Revenue climbed 14 percent to 3.3 billion ringgit.

“We continue to see the group’s business performance to be in line with expectations and on track in meeting the key business targets of 2011,” Public Bank’s founder and Chairman Teh Hong Piow said in a separate e-mailed statement, adding that the outlook for the industry is “stable and supportive of growth.”

Malaysia’s economy has continued to expand, after growing 7.2 percent last year, the most in a decade. Gross domestic product may increase by as much 5.5 percent in 2011, the finance ministry said in a report on Oct. 7. Public Bank, which has 250 local branches, generates more than 90 percent of its revenue domestically, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Public Bank said return-on-equity was 26.7 percent, the highest among Malaysian financial institutions tracked by Bloomberg.

View the full story in Business Week.

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