OCBC Quarterly Profit Jumps 18%, Tops Forecast

A customer enters a branch of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. (OCBC) in Singapore, on Friday, Feb. 19, 2010. OCBC, owner of Singapore's biggest life insurer, said fourth-quarter net income rose 67 percent to S$502 million. Photographer: Charles Pertwee/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, Singapore's second-biggest lender, posted an 18 percent rise in quarterly profit, buoyed by strong loan growth, beating expectations.

OCBC reported net profit of S$594 million in October-December, compared to S$505 million a year earlier.

This compared to an average forecast of S$551 million, according to five analysts polled by Reuters.

OCBC is in the process of a leadership change as CEO David Conner retires in April after a decade at the bank. He will be  replaced by Samuel Tsien who heads the corporate bank.

The result comes a week after DBS Group , Southeast Asia's biggest bank, posted an unexpected 8 percent rise in quarterly profit, beating expectations as strong loan growth propelled key net interest income upward by 17 percent.