Malaysia's CIMB logs record annual profit, posts small Q4 drop

KUALA LUMPUR Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:28am EST

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KUALA LUMPUR Feb 25 (Reuters) - CIMB Group Holdings Bhd , Malaysia's second-largest bank, logged record full-year earnings but posted a 4.6 percent drop in net profit for the quarter ended in December.

Full-year profit climbed 4.5 percent to a record 4.5 billion ringgit ($1.4 billion) on stronger contributions from regional consumer and corporate banking, CIMB said in an earnings statement issued on Tuesday.

Quarterly net profit came in at 1.03 billion ringgit, a tad lower than 1.08 billion ringgit a year ago but above the average prediction of 861 million ringgit from three analysts in a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll.

"The 2013 operating environment was far more challenging than expected, especially in Indonesia and regional financial markets, so we are pleased with our overall profit," it said.

CIMB, Southeast Asia's fifth largest lender by assets, has been expanding in Asia and in 2012 bought some of the Asian operations of Royal Bank of Scotland Plc.

It may face headwinds in Indonesia as business decisions get put on hold ahead of nationwide elections this year. Indonesia is the bank's second-biggest earnings contributor after Malaysia and made up 32 percent of the group's earnings according to CIMB's 2012 annual report.

Larger rival Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) is scheduled to report earnings on Thursday. ($1 = 3.2850 Malaysian ringgits) (Reporting by Yantoultra Ngui; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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