Singaporean lender OCBC’s fourth-quarter profit drops 14%, misses estimates

SINGAPORE, Feb 23 (Reuters) – Singapore’s second largest listed lender, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC.SI), beat market estimates on Wednesday by reporting a 14% drop in quarterly net profit , driven by higher operating costs.

OCBC’s net profit fell to S$973 million ($723.4 million) in October-December from S$1.13 billion a year earlier and from the S$1.18 billion average Singapore dollars from four analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv.

“Looking forward, we are cautiously optimistic that the operating environment will improve,” OCBC CEO Helen Wong said in a statement.

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The bank, which counts Singapore, Greater China and Malaysia among its main markets, said its full-year net profit rose 35% after credit allocations were cut by more than half, helped by improving asset quality.

Along with gains from rising global interest rates, Singapore lenders are enjoying a rebound in economic growth, with the city-state’s economy expected to grow 3-5% this year.

Southeast Asia’s largest bank, DBS Group (DBSM.SI) reported strong trading momentum last week after its profit hit a record high last year. Read more

($1 = 1.3450 Singapore dollars)

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Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Sandra Maler; Editing by Sam Holmes

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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