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Hong Leong Finance Q3 net earnings jump 84% on lower interest expense

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HONG Leong Finance said on Friday that net profit for Q3 jumped 84 per cent to S$23.6 million, mainly due to lower interest expense.

HONG Leong Finance said on Friday that net profit for Q3 jumped 84 per cent to S$23.6 million, mainly due to lower interest expense.

Annualised earnings per share rose to 21.19 Singapore cents from 11.52 Singapore cents.

Singapore's largest finance company said that net profit for nine months 2017 rose 59 per cent to S$60.9 million.

Interest on loans in Q3 was flat at S$57.3 million while hiring charges rose 28 per cent to S$12.4 million. Other interest income was up 7 per cent to S$7.4 million.

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Fee and commission income rose 26 per cent to S$3.8 million.

Hong Leong Finance said that total interest income/hiring charges for the quarter under review increased by 3.6 per cent to S$77.1 million due to a higher loan yield partially offset by a lower loan base.

Interest expense fell 30 per cent to S$29.7 million.

The decrease resulted from a combination of a lower average deposits base and lower applicable interest rates.

Accordingly net interest income/hiring charges for the quarter gained 48 per cent.

Provisions for bad debt surged to S$2.8 million; in Q3 2016, it had a writeback of S$749,000.

Staff costs rose 2 per cent but other operating expenses fell 8.8 per cent mainly due to reduced business promotion expenses.

Net loan assets including hire purchase receivables stood at S$9.8 billion, flat from a year ago and up 2.7 per cent from end-2016.

Deposits and balances of customers closed at S$10.7 billion as at Sept 30, up 1.7 per cent from a year ago and 2.6 per cent higher from end-2016.

Looking ahead, the company said that with the prospect of higher interest rates, it will closely manage liquidity management and deposit taking activity.

"At the same time, we roll out attractive SME loan packages to help SMEs with their cash flows and working capital," it said.

It has 11 SME Centres in Singapore.

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