Singapore-based DBS Bank will consider a secondary listing on the Hong Kong stock market when it next needs to raise capital, according to vice-chairman and chief executive Jackson Tai. However, such a move appears unlikely in the short term given the bank's comfortable 19 per cent capital adequacy cushion and a clear signal from management yesterday that it favoured organic growth across the border in China rather than an acquisition. Mr Tai's comments came as the group posted lower than expected third-quarter profits, dragged down by higher bad-loan charges partly to cover the losses on its Hong Kong credit-card business. Bottom-line profit for the quarter was S$199.1 million (about HK$874.78 million) versus S$257.8 million in the previous quarter, marking a sixth successive quarterly decline in after-tax earnings. Analysts had expected the declining trend to reverse and a return to profit growth, but pre-provisioning operating profit was down 2.7 per cent on the previous quarter to S$462.1 million as a result of falls across the board in fee and commission income, dividends and rentals, and other income. Bad loan charges jumped 40.1 per cent on the previous quarter to S$150.2 million, with provisions against falling equity values accounting for the lion's share of the increase - reversing an S$8 million write-back in the previous quarter into a S$47 million provision in the latest quarter. Loan-loss provisions, partly due to Hong Kong's credit-card business, were up to S$112 million, from S$74 million in the second quarter, and specific provisions were up to S$159 million from S$141 million. The group's entry into the Hong Kong card business came with the phased acquisition of Dao Heng Bank last year - due to be completed in January next year - as well as the introduction of a credit-card product by DBS Kwong On Bank. DBS operates three separate brands in Hong Kong - which now accounts for about 35 per cent of its total revenues - but will undertake a uniform branding exercise once the Dao Heng acquisition is completed. Dao Heng chief executive Randy Sullivan said the group would continue to grow its card business in Hong Kong 'within the context of good risk management'. On the subject of a Hong Kong listing, Mr Tai said that prior to its acquisition by DBS, Dao Heng had been a member of the Hang Seng Index. 'Some day, why shouldn't DBS have a listing - but I don't believe in listing for the sake of listing. We will only have a listing when we have a capital need.' On China, Mr Tai said prevailing regulations provided no assurances on issues of control, and no indication of caps on capital calls. 'We are very pleased with the platform we have here in [Hong Kong] . . . we believe that we can follow our small and medium enterprise customers [into China] . . . and we believe that is an effective way for now, for DBS to compete.'