DBS Kwong On Bank has reported an almost twofold increase in attributable profit in the first half of the year as money set aside against bad loans was cut by 90.8 per cent. The bank - renamed on March 31 after it was taken over by Singapore-based DBS Bank last year - said attributable profit rose 195.4 per cent to HK$165.47 million for the six months to June 30, from HK$56.02 million in the previous year. Charges for bad and doubtful debt fell to HK$18.75 million from HK$203.3 million a year earlier. DBS Kwong On - which delisted after the takeover - said 10.3 per cent of advances were non-performing or rescheduled, down from the previous year's 12.7 per cent. The bank reported flat growth in loan advances, rising just 90 basis points to HK$18.23 billion. However, DBS Kwong On's mortgage loans under the Home Ownership Scheme rose 8.9 per cent to HK$579.3 million. Competition in the mortgage market is fierce among institutional lenders, putting pressure on net interest margins. The bank's net interest income fell 2.7 per cent to HK$365.35 million for the period. One of Hong Kong's smallest banks, DBS Kwong On's declared assets of HK$29.03 billion ranks it 10th of the 13 listed banks in the SAR. The Singapore banking group also operates a DBS Hong Kong branch franchise under a foreign banking licence.