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RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

UOB Group's net earnings climbs 9% to $2.5b

Total income rose 10% to $6.7b.

UOB Group reported record net earnings of $2.5b (S$3.39b) for the full year of 2017, which was 9% higher than last year's. New highs in both net interest income and fee and commission income led total income to rise 10% to $6.7b (S$8.85b).

For 4Q17, the Group registered net earnings of S$855 million, 16% higher than in 4Q16 largely due to increase in net interest income, fee and commission income and net trading income. Compared with 3Q17, net earnings were down 3% mainly due to higher operating expenses.

Balance sheet strength remains strong, supported by a strong funding position and capital base. Year on year, deposits grew 7% to S$273 billion, while gross loans increased 5% to S$236 billion. The loan-to-deposit ratio stayed healthy at 85.1%. Higher retained earnings and ongoing efforts to optimise risk-weighted assets supported our fully-loaded Common Equity Tier 1 Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) rising from 12.1% to 14.7% from a year ago. Return on average risk-weighted assets improved from 1.51% to 1.63% over the same period.

Wee Ee Cheong, UOB’s deputy chairman and chief executive officer, said, “Despite headwinds in the last couple of years, particularly in the oil and gas sector, our balance sheet remains strong, with robust capitalisation and reserves buffer as well as ample liquidity. With our strong fundamentals, extensive regional network and expanded capabilities, we are well positioned to help our customers seize such opportunities as we continue to invest for the future to generate sustainable returns for all our stakeholders.”

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