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An Introduction To One Of Malaysia’s Leading Banks, Public Bank Berhad

Public Bank Berhad (KLSE: 1295.KL) is one of Malaysia’s largest banks. Investors who are interested in Singapore’s banks – namely, DBS Group Holdings Ltd (SGX: D05), Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Limited (SGX: O39), and United Overseas Bank Ltd (SGX: U11) – may want to learn more about Public Bank.

In this article, I want to share some useful investing information about the Malaysia bank.

The background

Public Bank was the third largest banking group in Malaysia by asset size at the end of 2017. It had total assets of RM 395.3 billion at that point in time.

The bank began its operations in 1966, and has developed into a full-service financial services group over time. It currently provides a wide range of services that include personal banking, commercial banking, Islamic banking, investment banking, share broking, sales and management of unit trusts, bancassurance and more.

Public Bank has a network of 259 branches and over 2,000 self-service terminals in Malaysia. Beyond the country, it also has a network of 79 branches in Hong Kong, 30 in Cambodia, 13 in Vietnam, four each in China and Laos, and three in Sri Lanka.

90.3% of the bank’s pre-tax profit was derived from Malaysia in 2017, with Hong Kong and Cambodia accounting for 4.8% and 3.6%, respectively. The remaining 1.3% of Public Bank’s total pre-tax profit in 2017 came from the other geographies it’s in.

The financials

In my view, no introduction is complete without financial numbers. As such, I would like to share some key metrics about Public Bank to give investors a more rounded view of the company.

We will start with revenue. From 2013 to 2017, Public Bank grew its top line by 29.4% from RM 5.7 billion to RM 7.3 billion.

Next, over the same period as above, the bank grew its net profit by 34.4% from RM 4.1 billion to RM 5.5 billion. Its earnings per share increased by a slower rate of 22.1% from 1.16 sen to 1.42 sen as a result of a higher share count.

Shareholders of Public Bank would have benefited from growing dividends too. The bank’s dividend actually increased by 17.3% from 52 sen in 2013 to 61 sen in 2017.

Foolish takeaway

Public Bank is one of Malaysia’s largest banks, and its business has performed respectably in in the last five years, given the growth in revenue, earnings per share, and dividend per share.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Lawrence Nga doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned. The Motley Fool Singapore has recommendations on DBS Group, and United Overseas Bank.