Higher expenses drag Sing Investments & Finance's full year profit down by 22%

Sing Investments & Finance has posted a 22 per cent drop in net profit to $11.5 million.

Net interest income and hiring charges were flat at $30.1 million for the year ended Dec 31.

The decline was mainly due to higher operating expenses and income tax expense.

Net loan assets grew by 8.7 per cent to $1.55 billion. Growing in tandem were deposits and savings accounts of customers, which rose by 6.8 per cent to $1.74 billion.

Despite an increase in the loans base, net interest income and hiring charges eased marginally due to the continual compression of interest margin.

Driven primarily by higher loan balances, interest income and hiring charges rose by 6.1 per cent.

However, this was more than offset by a 19.3 per cent jump in interest expense from a higher deposit base and rates.

Operating expense soared by 14.2 per cent due to an increase in business costs and reversal of staff costs in the previous year due to overprovisioning.

Earnings per share fell to 7.27 cents from 12.22 cents previously while net asset value per share eased by seven cents to $1.93.

An unchanged final dividend of five cents a share was proposed.

The company expects loan growth to continue to moderate from the property cooling measures and car financing restrictions.