KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 16:
Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) group chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Zaini Othman today brushed off speculation that he is in line to head RHB Capital Bhd.
“I’m not fully aware of that, it must just be a rumour,” he said after announcing MBSB’s 2914 results.
Speculation arose after RHB announced earlier this month the resignation of group managing director Kellee Kam Chee Khiong and has yet to announce the successor nor his last date at the banking group’s helm.
Ahmad Zaini is seen as a natural fit for RHB, given the common major shareholder between the wo financial groups and the solid performance of MBSB under his helm.
For the year ended Dec 31, 2014, MBSB maintained a positive performance with the pretax profit of RM932.6 million up 0.3% compared to RM932.3 million in 2013.
Ahmad Zaini noted that MBSB had actually performed far better last year. “Our pretax profit surpassed the RM1.1 billion mark for 2014.
“Due to this exceptional performance, the board of MBSB decided to accelerate the adoption of higher standards on the impairment of its financing assets, allocating RM177.26 million.”
For 2015, Ahmad Zaini said: “We remain optimistic despite the forthcoming economic and industry challenges. We have already begun implementing key plans to take advantage of certain sectors that are not heavily impacted by these economic changes.”
He added that MBSB is looking to double corporate financing segments from the current 15% to 30% while its retail segment will continue growth even as contribution percentage is gradually reduced from 85% now to 70% under the new five-year business plan.
On the proposal to create the country’s first mega Islamic bank through a merger with RHB Bank and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, which did not materialise, he said: “All parties ceased the discussions last month. This is because of unfavorable economic conditions that no longer render the corporate exercise a viable proposition.”