DBS Q2 profit up 15%, topping forecasts; flags 'some uncertainty' in second half of 2015

DBS posted a 15 per cent gain in second-quarter profit.
DBS posted a 15 per cent gain in second-quarter profit.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - DBS Group Holdings, Singapore's and South-east Asia's largest bank, posted a 15 per cent rise in second-quarter profit as net interest and fee income reached new highs.

DBS said its second-half outlook has some uncertainty, but said loan and business pipelines remain healthy.

"Despite slowing growth across the region, DBS achieved record earnings in the first half of the year driven by strong broad-based income growth," CEO Piyush Gupta said in the bank's earnings statement on Monday.

Net income rose 15 per cent to $1.117 billion for the three months ended June 30 from $969 million a year earlier, DBS reported on Monday (July 27). That compared with the $1.07 billion average of nine analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Net interest margin in the quarter rose eight basis points to 1.75 per cent from 1.67 per cent a year earlier. DBS said its interest rate margin was the highest in 13 quarters as more Singapore dollar loans were re-priced in line with the recent rise in interbank and swap offer rates.

Net interest income grew 12 per cent to $1.74 billion from $1.56 billion, while fees and commissions grew 16 per cent to $582 million.

DBS said loans grew 9 per cent, partly due to currency effects, as higher corporate and housing loans were partially offset by lower trade loans. In constant-currency terms, loans edged up by 1 per cent.

Credit rating agency Moody's earlier this month raised its outlook for Singapore banks to stable from negative, citing the property market's soft landing, and slowing domestic and cross-border loan growth.

DBS raised its first-half dividend to 30 cents a share from 28 cents a year ago. The increase, Mr Gupta noted, reflects "our confidence in the sustainability of our earnings."

DBS is the first of Singapore's Big Three banks to post quarterly earnings. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. and United Overseas Bank Ltd. are due to report their results on Friday.