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DBS Quarterly Profit Beats Forecast as Loans Grow

DBS Group, Southeast Asia's biggest bank, posted a 16 percent rise in quarterly profit, beating market expectations by a wide margin, as fast loan growth helped offset the damage from market turmoil.

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The first set of quarterly results under new Chief Executive Richard Stanley showed Singapore's biggest bank took advantage of Singapore's explosive loan market, which grew at 25 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier.

April-June net profit rose to S$652 million ($472 million) from S$560 million a year ago when profit was hurt by a big impairment on its investment in Thailand's TMB Bank.

The results showed a 14 percent increase in quarterly trading income, but fee and commission earnings dropped 8 percent.

Analysts had predicted net profit of S$569 million, according to the average of five forecasts compiled by Reuters.

The result came after Singapore's second-ranked lender, United Overseas Bank, posted an unexpected 2.7 percent rise in quarterly profit in spite of volatile markets due to strong loan growth and investment gains.

Analysts have warned Singapore banks may be unable to sustain the momentum because of an end to the property boom and slowing Asian economies, which are also struggling with high inflation.

Stanley, who joined the bank in May from Citigroup in China, is aiming to build the bank's Asian business outside Singapore and Hong Kong where it earns 90 percent of its profit.

Shares of DBS outperformed key rivals in the second quarter, rising 4.8 percent, compared to a 2.7 percent drop in share of United Overseas Bank and a 0.9 percent rise in third-ranked Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp.

The benchmark Straits Times Index fell 2 percent in the second quarter.