DBS Group Holdings Ltd. (DBS) and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. (OCBC), Southeast Asia’s two biggest lenders, posted an increase in fourth-quarter core profit as interest income climbed.
DBS’s net income excluding one-time gains rose 6 percent to S$802 ($634 million) for the quarter ended Dec. 31, from S$760 million a year earlier, according to a statement posted on the Singapore stock exchange. Including items such as the sale of stakes in a Philippine bank, profit declined 20 percent to S$973 million. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. reported an 8 percent profit increase for the three months.
The two Singapore banks are tapping growth in overseas markets and from fee-based businesses such as wealth management as they grapple with the lowest lending margins in Southeast Asia. Lenders in the city-state expanded credit by 17 percent last year as economic growth accelerated to 3.7 percent, from 1.3 percent in the previous year.
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