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KUALA LUMPUR: Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd's net profit for the second quarter (Q2) ended June 30, 2021, rose to RM30.57 million from RM20.47 million posted in the same quarter last year.
Revenue increased to RM212.64 million from RM210.61 million previously, mainly due to higher interest income, management fee income, and investment banking fees income, the bank said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today.
On prospects, Kenanga Investment Bank said it foresees a strong resumption of economic recovery towards the end of the year, with the 2021 gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast is expected to settle at 3.5 per cent to 4.0 per cent (2020: -5.6 per cent).
"This is attributable to the progress of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, deployment of the ongoing and sizeable fiscal stimulus, solid external demand and the unleashed pent-up demand.
"Nonetheless, our forecast remains subject to several downside risks, including the resurgence of new COVID-19 cases both domestically and globally amid fears of the new variant, domestic political uncertainty, and renewed United States-China tensions," it said.
On the monetary front, Kenanga Investment Bank said it expects Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to keep the overnight policy rate (OPR) at 1.75 per cent for the rest of the year, given the expected economic recovery on the back of wider vaccine rollout and deployment of fiscal support.
"However, we believe BNM still has room to slash the OPR by another 25 to 50 basis points to support growth if the COVID-19 situation and political uncertainty worsens," it said.
The bank said the government's fiscal policy stance is expected to remain expansionary, with a fiscal deficit projected at 6.3 per cent of GDP in 2021 (2020: 6.2 per cent), largely due to four stimulus packages announced so far this year amounting to RM26 billion or 1.7 per cent of GDP, while government expenditure recorded a 5.2 per cent increase in the first five months of this year.
"With the roll-out of the national vaccination programme gaining momentum, we are optimistic about the health of the overall economy for the second half of the year.
"While the Bursa Malaysia average daily trading value in July declined to 6.12 billion, we are hopeful for a rebound in the fourth quarter and sustain profit momentum for the rest of the year," it added. - Bernama