Singapore: DBS Group, Southeast Asia’s leading bank, said Wednesday its first-quarter net profit dipped 2% from the previous year as trading and capital market activities took a hit from global financial turmoil.
Net profit of 603 million Singapore dollars ($446 million) in the three months ended March 31 beat analysts forecasts as continued loan growth and measures to cut costs helped cushion the turmoil’s impact, the bank said.
Compared with the previous quarter, net profit climbed 8%, it said. Revenue totalled $1.56 billion, up 1% from the same period last year and 2% higher than the previous quarter.
“In the past quarter, DBS made breakthroughs into new markets like Taiwan and Vietnam and the bank continues to gain momentum in countries like China, Indonesia and India, where it recently received approval to set up eight new branches,” DBS chairman Koh Boon Hwee said.
DBS said in March that all eight Indian branches are expected to be operational within the next 12 months. The bank said it suffered a Q1trading loss of $161 million compared with its $171-million net profit the year before, amid a global credit crunch triggered by a crisis in the U.S. housing market.
Net interest income was up 9% as loan volumes surged, driven by corporate borrowings, it said. Income from fees rose 14% over the previous year, but was down 7% from the preceding quarter “due to weaker capital market activities such as wealth management, investment banking and stockbroking,” it added.
The bank said it will pay shareholders a quarterly dividend of 20 cents a share, unchanged from a year earlier. The company has operations in 16 Asian markets, including Hong Kong.