RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

OCBC reports rosy results

The Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd, Singapore’s largest local bank by market capitalisation, has reported encouraging operating results for 2011.

OCBC announced an 18 percent increase in fourth-quarter profit to US$475 million from US$403 million year-on-year. For all of 2011, OCBC’s net income rose 3 percent to US$1.8 billion on more loans to the general commerce sector, housing loans and lending to professionals and individuals. OCBC’s net interest income grew 20 percent from 2010 to US$739 million.

“Our results for 2011 underscore the strength of our customer franchise in a challenging operating environment,” said Chief Executive Officer David Conner.

Analysts noted that loan growth was significant for all Singapore banks during the fourth quarter. They had expected this improvement to counterbalance a slight drop of net interest margins

Income from wealth management, however, fell during the quarter. Singapore had the world’s highest concentration of millionaires. Some 15.5 percent of Singapore’s population are millionaires, said a Boston Consulting Group survey in 2011.

Assets under management at Bank of Singapore Ltd., its private banking subsidiary, grew 19 percent to US$26 billion in 2011.

OCBC’s global network consists of more than 530 branches with representative offices in 15 countries and territories.


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