Singapore UOB Q3 net profit up 36 pct; beats expectations

SINGAPORE Wed Nov 7, 2012 4:38am EST

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SINGAPORE Nov 7 (Reuters) - United Overseas Bank, the smallest of Singapore's three banking groups, on Wednesday posted an almost 36 percent rise in third-quarter net profit, helped by strong fee and commission income and trading gains.

UOB earned S$707 million ($577.52 million) in the three months ended in September, compared to S$522 million a year earlier. The results beat the S$652 million average estimate of five analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

The Singapore bank said net interest income in the third quarter grew 6.1 percent to S$971 million from a year earlier even though interest rate margins were weak. Trading and investment income tripled to S$173 million.

DBS Group, Singapore's and Southeast Asia's largest lender, last week posted a 12 percent rise in third-quarter net profit, beating expectations on a sharp drop in bad debt charges and on double-digit growth in income from its core lending business. ($1 = 1.2242 Singapore dollars) (Reporting by Saeed Azhar)