SINGAPORE: United Overseas Bank reported on Thursday (Feb 23) a 37 per cent increase in quarterly core profit as rising interest rates swelled net interest income at Singapore’s smallest listed bank.
Singapore lenders, like their global peers, are gaining from higher interest rates, but analysts say that as the cycle peaks and economic growth falters, rising bank profits could be curbed.
UOB’s core net profit rose to S$1.39 billion (US$1.04 billion) in October-December, compared with an average estimate of S$1.2 billion from two analysts polled by Refinitiv. Including one-off expenses, UOB posted a net profit of S$1.15 billion.
“We remain positive on the region despite the global economic gloom in the near term,” Wee Ee Cheong, CEO of the Southeast Asian-focussed bank said in a statement.
UOB forecast mid single-digit loan growth and double-digit fee growth for 2023.
Last year, UOB acquired Citigroup’s consumer business in four Southeast Asian markets for about S$5 billion, marking its biggest deal in two decades. The move will double its retail customer base in these markets.