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DBS first-quarter profit rises 3% as interest income increases

Monday, April 27, 2015 - 07:35
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DBS Group Holding, Southeast Asia's largest lender, posted higher first-quarter profit as net interest income increased.

[SINGAPORE] DBS Group Holding, Southeast Asia's largest lender, posted higher first-quarter profit as net interest income increased.

Net income gained 3 percent to S$1.27 billion for the three months ended March 31 from S$1.23 billion a year earlier, the Singapore-based bank reported Monday. That compares with the average forecast of S$1.05 billion in a Bloomberg survey of five analysts.

Rising domestic interest rates, which climbed to a six-year high in the first quarter, gives Singaporean banks scope to impose greater charges on borrowers. That may help offset any slowdown in lending as the economy cools in a city that generated 62 percent of DBS’s revenue last year.

Lenders “will benefit from the rising interest-rate environment,” Ivan Tan, a Standard & Poor’s analyst in Singapore, said by phone before the results. “Impacts will be much more prominent from the second quarter.” Net interest income rose 14 percent to S$1.7 billion. Selling the property investment in Hong Kong allowed DBS to book a one-time gain of S$136 million, it said.

BLOOMBERG