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BRANCH BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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UOB posts solid second quarter results

United Overseas Bank Ltd reported a 12.1% increase in second quarter net profit to US$574 million.

Singapore's third-largest bank by assets attributed the improvement to higher loan volumes and fee income. The net profit for the second quarter was a 16% increase from the comparable US$494 million posted last year.

"The good thing is we are growing strongly in fees, which helped offset margin pressure," said UOB Chief Executive Wee Ee Cheong.

Net interest income rose 7.4% to US$790 million from US$735 million, while non-interest income jumped 20% to US$507 million from US$422 million.

Wee said the group is looking to take advantage of expansion opportunities in the region as they arise and the bank is interested in the regional asset management business of ING.

The Dutch financial-services company is taking bids for its Asian asset management arm in the region as part of its wider plan to restructure following its bailout by the Dutch state during the 2008 global financial crisis.

"ING, yes, we are interested in, with a lot depending on the price," Wee said.

"For the wealth management piece, we are also actively looking at it, but in the meantime we are growing organically."

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