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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bank Rakyat-Casa Impian home renovation scheme

FLEXIBLE REPAYMENT PLAN: Kamaruzaman (second from right) being briefed by Norlinda (right) and Casa Impian executive director Khairul Anwar Rahmat (second from left). With them is Bank Rakyat general manager corporate services/bank secretary Datuk Rosely Samsuri.

Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Bhd, the country's largest cooperative bank, expects to disburse RM1 million a month for the financing of home renovation under its new product, Personal Financing i-Aslah Purchase Plus.

The bank has formed a tie-up with interior designer Casa Impian Sdn Bhd, where customers will engage the decorator's expertise in their home designs.

Customers may apply for a minimum of RM50,000 to a maximum of RM150,000 loan for the purpose, with a repayment period of up to 15 years.

"The common problem faced by first time house buyers is the difficulty to fund renovation works after spending a 'bomb' to buy the property," Casa Impian managing director Datin Norlinda Abd Taib said in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Despite bearish consumer sentiment, she is optimistic of an encouraging response from customers due to the bank's flexible repayment plan.

Meanwhile, Bank Rakyat managing director Datuk Kamaruzaman Che Mat said the bank expects to maintain its 2.2 per cent non-performing loans (NPLs) this year.

"To ensure a manageable NPL rate, we tie up with other banks for salary deductions from borrowers' accounts and we encourage repeat borrowers with good track records to continue banking with us," he said.

It was earlier reported that Bank Rakyat is on track to hit RM1 billion profit for this year after pre-tax earnings from January to June soared to more than RM500 million.

In the first six months, the bank gave out 23 per cent more loans than the same period in 2007, where consumer loans, mainly personal and hire purchase financing, make up 95 per cent of total loans. The balance five per cent are corporate loans.

Commenting on Bank Rakyat's plan to buy a stake in an overseas bank, Kamaruzaman said the bank has yet to initiate talks with any party but is looking at opportunities.

"We still want to grow organically, (so) any talks for such a plan may only take place next year," he said, adding that the bank will use its own funds for this purpose.

Up to June this year, its total deposits stood at RM28.1 billion, assets at RM40 billion and shareholders' fund at RM4.37 billion.

By New Straits Times (by Zurinna Raja Adam)

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