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CIMB Research picks Maybank

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KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Equities Research is maintaining its Neutral outlook on Malaysian banks with Maybank as its top pick.

In its wrap-up of the April-June earnings for the banks, it said on Friday better-than-expected economic growth and robust investment banking deal flow did little to boost banks’ earnings during the quarter.

“Once again, the culprit was a margin squeeze, which limited topline growth to only 4.8% on-year in 2Q12. Meanwhile, Q2, 2012 net profit expanded 10.7% on-year.

“Overall, banks’ 2Q12 results were slightly below our expectations. While the margin squeeze would cap the upside for banks’ earnings, we see minimal downside risks given the improving asset quality, and (2) still-healthy loan growth of more than 12%,” it said. – The Star