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DBS beats with 10% rise in first quarter net profit

Munshi Ahmed | Bloomberg | Getty Images

DBS Group, Singapore's biggest bank, on Monday posted a 10 percent jump in core first-quarter net profit, above analysts' estimates, helped by a double-digit rise in loan growth and strong wealth management fees.

Loans grew by 11 percent in the first quarter, defying market expectations of a slowdown, due to demand from regional corporate borrowing and secured consumer credit.

DBS however reported a slower rise in trade loans, which have been a driver of CEO Piyush Gupta's growth strategy.

"Despite a slowdown in trade volumes, the bank's first-quarter earnings reached a record high," said Gupta in a statement, referring to the S$1.27 billion ($952.88 million) net profit including exceptional items.

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DBS said core net profit excluding exceptional items for the January-March period came to S$1.13 billion, against an average forecast of S$1.03 billion from six analysts polled by Reuters.

That compares with a core net profit of S$1.03 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Including a one-time gain from a property disposal, net profit jumped to S$1.27 billion from S$1.23 billion a year earlier.

Net interest income climbed 14 percent to S$1.69 billion.

Bad loan charges rose 20 percent to S$181 million, but fell 14 percent from the fourth quarter.