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Singapore banks post Q1 profit declines in weak markets

Singapore banks post Q1 profit declines in weak markets

Net profit at DBS and OCBC were both down from a year earlier, but came in above estimates.

SINGAPORE — Singapore lenders DBS Group and OCBC both reported 10 per cent declines in their quarterly profits from record performances a year ago, with their wealth management businesses hit by weaker markets.

"Geopolitical developments in recent weeks have created macroeconomic headwinds and financial market volatility," DBS Chief Executive Piyush Gupta said in a statement on Friday (April 29).

"While some activities such as wealth management will be affected, our overall business pipeline continues to be healthy," he said, adding that DBS would benefit significantly from interest rate increases in the coming quarters.

Net profit at DBS, Southeast Asia's biggest bank, fell to S$1.8 billion in January-March from a record S$2 billion a year earlier but came in above an average estimate of S$1.63 billion from six analysts, according to Refinitiv data.

Singapore banks face a tough comparison after reporting record profits a year earlier when they benefited from a strong recovery from pandemic-hit markets.

Second-ranked OCBC posted a first-quarter profit of S$1.36 billion, down from S$1.5 billion a year earlier, but this also came above an average estimate of S$1.2 billion from six analysts, according to Refinitiv data.

OCBC counts Singapore, Greater China and Malaysia, among its key markets, while DBS earns most of its profit from Singapore and Hong Kong. REUTERS

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