Hong Leong Finance's first quarter net profit falls 8.9% to $15.3 million

HONG Leong Finance posted a first-quarter net profit of $15.3 million, down 8.9 per cent from the same period a year ago.

Net interest income and hiring charges at Singapore's largest finance company also fell by 7.5 per cent to $36.5 million, as a result of a reduction in the lending spread.

Fee and commission income, however, rose 17.2 per cent to $3.4 million, mainly due to higher fee income from some lending products and from corporate advisory services.

Total profits from operations, before allowances, slipped 14.3 per cent over the previous corresponding period to $18.3 million.

Net loan assets, which include hire purchase receivables, were up 13.7 per cent from the same period year before to $9.0 billion.

Deposits and balances also increased 19.6 per cent over the same period last year to $10.044 billion, and fell slightly from the previous quarter's $10.046 billion.

Interest expenses were up 52.4 per cent over the same period last year to $25.9 million, due to higher interest payable on deposits resulting from a combination of higher prevailing interest rates and a larger deposits base.