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OCBC Posts 12% Jump in Profit, Beating Forecasts

Thursday, 14 Feb 2013 | 8:06 PM ET
Munshi Ahmed | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, Singapore's second-biggest lender, posted a 12 percent jump in fourth quarter net profit due to a rise in fee income and a quadrupling of gains from its insurance unit that offset weak interest margins.

OCBC earned S$663 million ($537 million) in the three months ended in December, compared with S$594 million a year earlier.

(Read More: Singapore GDP Up 1.8% in Fourt Quarter, Dodges Expected Recession)

The profit was above the S$622 million average forecast of five analysts polled by Reuters.

The group has not announced any special dividend after it profited from post-tax gains of S$1.13 billion in the third quarter following the sale of stakes in conglomerate Fraser and Neave and Asia Pacific Breweries to companies linked to a Thai beer baron.

(Read More: Thai Tycoon Wins Control of Singapore's Fraser and Neave)

Chief Executive Samuel Tsien said in a statement OCBC is well placed to pursue new opportunities and drive growth in key geographies and businesses.

(Read More: Singapore Traders May Have Manipulated Forex Rates)

Last week, bigger rival DBS reported a net profit of S$760 million for October-December, below an average forecast of S$810 million on weak interest margins.

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