Wednesday, 1 August 2012

OCBC says Q2 net profit up 12 pct, beats expectations

Aug 2 (Reuters) - Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp , Singapore's second-largest lender, posted a 12 percent rise in second-quarter net profit on Thursday, helped by strong loan growth and a surge in trading income.
OCBC earned S$648 million ($521 million) in the three months ended June, compared to S$577 million a year earlier. Its profit was higher than the S$606 million average forecast of six analysts polled by Reuters.
The beat was largely due to strong rise in net trading income to S$75 million, an increase of 84 percent from a year earlier, led by higher securities and derivatives trading income.
Trade finance and housing helped fuel strong loan growth for Singapore banks this year, but analysts expect the pace of credit expansion to slacken in the second half of 2012 as Asian economies slow.
Bank loans in the wealthy city-state grew nearly 21 percent in June from a year earlier, central bank data shows.
Analysts expect higher dividends from OCBC in the months ahead after it agreed to sell its stakes in Fraser and Neave and Asia Pacific Breweries to a group of companies linked to Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi.
OCBC said on July 18 the banking group would make a post-tax gain of about S$1.15 billion from the deal.
In 2011 it paid a total dividend of 30 cents per share, unchanged from 2010.

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