UPDATE 1-Malaysia's CIMB Q3 net profit up 12.9 percent

Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:13am EST

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(Adds details, company comment)

* Beats expectations with 1.14 billion ringgit profit

* Revenue hits 3.54 billion, up 6.6 percent for Q3

* Shares up 0.52 pct vs market's 0.05 pct rise

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Malaysia's No.2 lender, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, beat expectations on Tuesday, posting a 12.9 percent increase in third-quarter net profit.

The bank said in a statement that net profit for the quarter ended Sept. 30 was 1.14 billion ($372.18 million), beating the consensus estimate of 1.12 billion ringgit provided by analysts on Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The bank said revenue climbed to 3.54 billion ringgit, 6.6 percent higher than in the previous quarter.

CIMB has been expanding in Asia and recently acquiring some of the Asian operations of Royal Bank of Scotland Plc and the unlisted banking arm of the Philippines' San Miguel Corp .

"We had a good Q3 and nine months, underpinned by strong performances at CIMB Niaga (Indonesia), CIMB Bank Singapore and corporate banking and treasury markets," said Nazir Razak, group chief executive of CIMB. "At the same time, we defended key market shares and added important building blocks to the franchise," he added.

For the first nine months of the year, net profit rose 12.6 percent to 3.26 billion ringgit from a year earlier, the bank said, adding that revenue rose 15.8 percent on year largely due to improvement in non-interest income.

"Our momentum is strong going into Q4, but so are the external headwinds as growth in the region has slowed. But we remain optimistic as our corporate and capital market deal pipeline is good," Nazir said.

CIMB shares closed 0.52 percent higher at 7.67 ringgit per share on Tuesday, compared to the broader market's 0.05 percent rise.

The bank's stock is rated by 10 out of 27 analysts as a "strong buy" or "buy," while 12 rate the stock a "hold" and five rate it as "underperform" or "sell."

($1 = 3.0630 Malaysian ringgit)

(Reporting By Yantoultra Ngui; Editing By Siva Sithraputhran and Matt Driskill)

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