Hong Leong Finance posts 18% rise in Q2 net profit to $17.4 million

Hong Leong Finance recorded an 18.4 per cent rise in net profit for the second quarter to $17.4 million.

Net interest income inched up a marginal 0.7 per cent in the three months to June 30 to $37.5 million, as higher interest income was offset by lower hiring charges and a rise in interest expense.

Fee and commission income increased by 3.8 per cent, mainly due to higher fee income from some lending products and from corporate advisory services.

While operating profit dipped 2 per cent in the second quarter from the previous year, net profit rose due to low-base effects.

Earnings last year were depressed by one-off items such as allowances for recovery of doubtful debts and provision for settlements and costs relating to distribution of wealth management products.

Hong Leong declared an interim dividend of four cents a share, to be paid on Sept 11.

The finance company described the current macro environment as "subdued" and said the process of domestic economic restructuring, low productivity and inflationary pressures may hurt economic growth.