DBS profit maintains momentum in quarter

Singapore bank posts record gains on fee income growth amid favourable market

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 May, 2013, 10:06am
UPDATED : Friday, 03 May, 2013, 3:15am

DBS, Singapore's largest bank, posted an 11th consecutive increase in quarterly profit to S$950 million (HK$5.98 billion), thanks to fee income growth and favourable market conditions.

Net profit of the bank's Hong Kong operation grew 18 per cent in the first three months of the year to HK$1.38 billion.

Earnings jumped 35 per cent when compared with the previous quarter.

Profits for both the group and its Hong Kong operation were at record levels on a quarterly basis.

For the Hong Kong operation, non-interest income surged 39 per cent on higher treasury customer flows and trading gains, compared with the same period last year, the bank said.

Net interest income grew 12 per cent, with net interest margin, a measurement of profitability of loans, unchanged from the end of last year at 1.55 per cent.

With income rising faster than expenses, profit before allowances was 35 per cent higher for the first quarter from last year.

Provisions for loans and assets rose 62.2 per cent to HK$257 million, compared with the previous quarter.

General provisions grew in line with a 7 per cent in overall loans growth, and special provisions made to individual loans were little changed, DBS said. Deposits edged up 3 per cent.

Net profit of the entire group reached a record S$950 million, a 25 per cent jump from the previous quarter and a 2 per cent gain from a year earlier.

The results beat the S$824 million average of six analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Net fees and commissions rose 25 per cent to S$507 million from a year earlier, led by investment banking, wealth management and loan-related fees, the bank said.

Net interest income fell 0.67 per cent from a year earlier to S$1.33 billion.

Net interest margin for the group grew 0.02 percentage point to 1.64 per cent from the previous quarter.

"After a slower second half in 2012, we started the year on a very solid note," chief executive Piyush Gupta said in a statement.

Favourable market conditions had benefited DBS, Gupta said, enabling the bank to turn in yet another quarter of record earnings.

DBS shares rose 4.95 per cent in Singapore to close at S$17.52, the highest in almost five years.