OCBC's Q4 net profit up 8% to $715m

OCBC Bank has reported an 8 per cent year-on-year rise in its fourth-quarter net profit to $715 million, underpinned by strong net interest income and fee income growth as well as record earnings at its Malaysian and Indonesian units. -- FILE PHOTO:
OCBC Bank has reported an 8 per cent year-on-year rise in its fourth-quarter net profit to $715 million, underpinned by strong net interest income and fee income growth as well as record earnings at its Malaysian and Indonesian units. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS 

OCBC Bank has reported an 8 per cent year-on-year rise in its fourth-quarter net profit to $715 million, underpinned by strong net interest income and fee income growth as well as record earnings at its Malaysian and Indonesian units.

Core net profit for the quarter from banking operations, excluding contributions from Great Eastern Holdings, was $582 million, up 22 per cent from a year ago.

This included a 37 per cent rise in quarterly net profit in its Malaysia business and a 17 per cent increase in net profit in Indonesia, the Singapore lender said on Friday.

OCBC also hit a quarterly record for net interest income of $1.03 billion, up 12 per cent from a year ago, on the back of robust asset and deposit growth.

Loans grew 18 per cent in the fourth quarter over a year ago to $170 nillion, with the largest increases coming from trade finance and loans to the building and construction sectors.

For the full year, OCBC's core net profit slipped 2 per cent to $2.77 billion, as strong customer-related business results throughout the year were offset by lower net trading income, which is affected by financial market performance.

Its bottomline was also dented by unrealised losses from Great Eastern's Non-Participating Fund.

However, the bank posted a record net interest income of $3.88 billion, up 4 per cent from 2012, due to strong growth in loans and deposits. It also had record fees and commissions income of $1.36 billion, up 13 per cent from the year before.

"The strong momentum across our customer-related businesses was maintained throughout the year, which substantially offset the lower income from market-related trading and insurance activities," said OCBC chief executive Samuel Tsien.

"Looking ahead, our overall outlook remains optimistic, given the positive economic environment and the underlying growth prospects in our key markets.