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UOB Q4 profit surges 48%, flags robust outlook

SINGAPORE — United Overseas Bank Ltd joined bigger rival DBS Group in flagging a strong outlook after reporting a 48 per cent rise in quarterly profit on Wednesday (Feb 16) on the back of a sharp decline in credit charges.

UOB's full year profit rebounded to S$4.1 billion from S$2.9 billion, driven by a 58 per cent drop in credit charges and a strong performance in its wealth management business and loan-related activities.

UOB's full year profit rebounded to S$4.1 billion from S$2.9 billion, driven by a 58 per cent drop in credit charges and a strong performance in its wealth management business and loan-related activities.

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SINGAPORE — United Overseas Bank Ltd joined bigger rival DBS Group in flagging a strong outlook after reporting a 48 per cent rise in quarterly profit on Wednesday (Feb 16) on the back of a sharp decline in credit charges.

Analysts expect Southeast Asian banks to benefit as pandemic-hit economies rebound, helping them boost loan growth and asset quality, while they also gain from rising interest rates.

"We believe the worst is behind us. In Singapore, there are signs of market recovery where we see strong institutional loan growth and a rebound in card spending and wealth management activities," Wee Ee Cheong, CEO of UOB, Singapore's smallest listed bank said in a statement.

"We see significant upside in Southeast Asia, though the pace of recovery may vary by country," he said.

The Southeast Asian-focused bank's October-December net profit rose to S$1.02 billion  from a year earlier, compared with an average estimate of S$986 million from four analysts polled by Refinitiv.

UOB's full year profit rebounded to S$4.1 billion from S$2.9 billion, driven by a 58 per cent drop in credit charges and a strong performance in its wealth management business and loan-related activities.

Last month, UOB agreed to buy Citigroup's consumer business in four Southeast Asian markets for about S$5 billion, in a move that will double its retail customer base in these markets and mark its biggest deal in two decades.

On Monday, DBS forecast strong business momentum after its full-year profit rose to a record. REUTERS

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