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RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

OCBC's 2017 net profit rises 19% to $3.1b

Total income hikes 14% from last year to $7.2b.

OCBC Group reported a net profit after tax of $3.1b (S$4.15b) for FY17, an increase of 19% from $2.6b (S$3.47b) in FY16. This is the first time OCBC's reported net profit surpassed the S$4b mark.

Total income rose 14% over the prior year to exceed S$9.6b. Net interest income rose 7% from the previous year to S$5.42b on the back of strong asset growth. As at 31 December 2017, customer loans increased 8% to S$237b, underpinned by broad-based growth across key customer and geographical segments. Full year net interest margin (NIM) of 1.65% declined 2 basis points from 1.67% a year ago, as lower loan yields more than offset higher gapping income from money market activities.

Nevertheless, NIM had been rising for each consecutive quarter in 2017. Non-interest income increased 23% to S$4.21b from S$3.44b a year ago. Fee and commission income climbed 19% to S$1.95b, lifted by a 45% increase in wealth management fee income.

Investment banking, fund management and trade-related fees were also higher year-on-year. Net trading income, mainly comprising treasury-related income from customer flows, was S$515m as compared to S$529m a year ago, while net gains from the sale of investment securities more than doubled to S$431m.

Operating expenses of S$4.03b were 6% above the previous year, mainly attributed to higher staff costs and a rise in expenses to support the Group’s business expansion.

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