Wednesday November 26, 2008

Maybank and CIMB reduce lending rate

It is in line with Bank Negara’s move to lower the OPR

KUALA LUMPUR: Malayan Banking Bhd and CIMB Group have reduced their base lending rates (BLR), effective from Dec 1, following the move by Bank Negara to lower the overnight policy rate (OPR).

Maybank said yesterday it had reduced its BLR by 25 basis points from 6.75% to 6.5% effective Dec 1.

Maybank Islamic Bhd’s base financing rate (BFR) would also be revised downward by 25 basis points from 6.75% to 6.5% effective Dec 1.

CIMB Group said CIMB Bank Bhd and CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd would reduce both their BLR and BFR by 25 basis points to 6.5% with effect also from Dec 1.

The two banking groups said their decision was made following Bank Negara’s move to lower the OPR by 25 basis points to 3.25%.

“It is a decisive step to the advantage of our borrowers as well as a means to spur economic and business growth for the various sectors,” Maybank’s president and CEO Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar said.

He added that Maybank and Maybank Islamic would continue to review the market environment and provide customers more financial support in these difficult times.

CIMB Group’s group chief executive Datuk Seri Nazir Razak said the banking group decided to pass on the full benefit of the OPR reduction to its customers.

“This full pass-through of Bank Negara’s OPR reduction will help existing borrowers and also potential borrowers to contend with an environment of sharply moderating economic growth,” Nazir said in a statement.

“We continue to also welcome borrowers to engage us if they need to restructure their payment schedules.”

Nazir said CIMB Islamic also plans to provide more attractive Islamic financing rates to pass on the benefits of ample liquidity in the Islamic banking market.

Customers can expect to pay lower rates for Islamic financing compared to conventional loans at CIMB Group, he added.

Despite the lower lending rates, CIMB Bank and CIMB Islamic deposit rates remain attractive at up to 3.5% per annum, Nazir said in the statement.

The Association of Banks in Malaysia said Bank Negara’s decision to cut the OPR would lead to a lower cost of funds for banks.

The lower cost of funds would in turn reduce the cost of borrowings for consumers, the association said in a statement.

The association’s chairman, Datuk Seri Abdul Hamidy Abdul Hafiz, said: “Bank Negara Malaysia’s move to cut the statutory reserve requirement for banking institutions from 4% to 3.5% effective Dec 1 will also inject greater liquidity into the banking system, lower cost of funds and promote lending activities as the move will effectively increase the lending capacity of the banks.”

Earlier, Wahid said the banking group intended to open nine more branches in the next three years in Cambodia to strengthen its presence in regional markets.

Maybank has two branches in Cambodia and plans are in the pipeline to open one more early next year, he said at the launch of an electronic deposit system.

MAYBANK :  [Stock Watch]  [News]
CIMB : [Stock Watch] [News]

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