SINGAPORE (Aug 27): It will be a challenging year for banks, but OCBC Bank (Malaysia) (OCBC Malaysia) is optimistic it can grow its earnings for the second straight year after hitting a record high last year.

OCBC Malaysia, a subsidiary of Singapore’s second-largest banking group by assets, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, saw its net profit rise 17% to RM949.23 million ($316.8 million) last year, its highest ever.

“We aspire to reach at least RM1 billion in net profit this year. Thus, we have to ensure that our platforms — in both people and infrastructure — are ready to support growth that can always be consistently above RM1 billion. Importantly, we also want to grow our business to support our customers as they venture out of Malaysia. That business is substantial and growing,” CEO Ong Eng Bin tells The Edge Malaysia in an interview.

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