MBSB assets conversion on track

25 Jun 2018 / 22:55 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) is on track to dispose of or convert the remaining 10% of its conventional assets worth RM1 billion to Islamic assets over the next three years to April 2021, in line with its position as a full-fledged Islamic bank now.
"Right now, the group is only doing Islamic, which is at the MBSB Bank Bhd side. Whatever remnants on conventional at the holding company level, we need to sell down or convert. We're given three years (by the central bank) to do it," president and CEO Datuk Seri Ahmad Zaini Othman told a press conference after MBSB's AGM today.
He explained that once it has disposed of all non-Islamic assets, and technically becomes an Islamic entity, it can then move the bank to the holding company level, and list MBSB Bank.
He pointed out that all MBSB's deposits are already Islamic, and that there are minimal conventional deposits.
This year, Zaini said, MBSB plans to sell its hardcore non-performing loans (NPL) of RM600 million, which would conclude its entire impairment programme that started in the fourth quarter of 2014.
According to him, these NPLs are facilities and loans of retail assets of more than 12 months, specifically personal finance and mortgage (shortfall accounts), which are legacy assets mainly from MBSB. The sale of the NPLs will reduce its gross NPL ratio to below the current 4%, depending on the sale amount, placing its closer to the industry benchmark.
Citing no impact on profit, Zaini said the NPLs will be sold to companies that buy distressed assets, adding that the demand is there because of the pricing.
"These are things that we just need to get rid of. It (losses) has been provided for. Anything we sell will be booked as profit."
On another note, Zaini said MBSB will spend RM250 million over the next 18 months on its IT infrastructure, for the upgrading of its systems and digitalisation programme for MBSB Bank, which will allow it to roll out new products and services.
MBSB is expected to have its internet banking system by year-end.
"In March next year, we should have a full-blown Islamic platform for MBSB Bank," said Zaini.
MBSB Bank will be working on 22 key initiatives until April 2019. These initiatives are in three main phases that focus on growing current business, empowering the business as well as venturing into new markets.
Zaini said the new markets link back to the new products that it wants to go into, including transactional banking, fee-based income opportunities, trade finance and a series of other cross-selling products and services under the banking platform.
MBSB Bank projects loan growth of 3-5% this year, driven by affordable home financing and business financing.


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