KUALA LUMPUR, May 23 (Reuters) - Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), Malaysia's biggest bank by assets, posted a 11.8 percent rise in first quarter profit, helped by higher net interest income and strong Islamic banking performance.
Maybank earned 1.51 billion ringgit ($499.75 million) in the three months ended March, compared with a net profit of 1.35 billion ringgit a year earlier. Its profit was above the 1.46 billion ringgit average of forecasts of two analysts polled by Reuters.
Malaysia's number two lender CIMB Group Holdings Bhd on Tuesday posted a 37.2 percent rise in first quarter profit, driven by the sale of an insurance business, but warned of slowing demand for the region's exports.
Shares of Maybank are up some 11 percent so far this year, in line with the rise of 11 percent by CIMB and beating the 3 percent increase by Public Bank Bhd.
Maybank shares were up 0.6 percent at 10.14 ringgit shortly after the results were released while the benchmark composite index was down 0.24 percent at 1779.62 points.
($1 = 3.0215 Malaysian ringgits) (Reporting By Siva Sithraputhran and Yantoultra Ngui)