OCBC says Q3 net profit soars on F&N stake sale

SINGAPORE Thu Nov 8, 2012 6:35pm EST

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SINGAPORE Nov 9(Reuters) - Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp , Singapore's second-largest lender, posted an almost fourfold jump in third-quarter net profit on Friday, boosted by a one-time gain from the sale of stakes in Fraser and Neave and its breweries unit.

OCBC earned S$1.85 billion ($1.51 billion) in the three months ended September, compared to S$513 million a year earlier.

OCBC profited from post-tax gains of S$1.13 billion after the banking group and its insurance unit sold stakes in conglomerate F&N and Asia Pacific Breweries to companies linked to a Thai beer baron.

Without the one-time gain, its profit was S$724 million, above the S$655 million average forecast of five analysts polled by Reuters, helped by strong contributions from its insurance unit and trading income.

OCBC's rivals DBS Group Holdings and United Overseas Bank, beat analysts' expectations with a 12 percent and 36 percent rise in quarterly profit respectively. ($1 = 1.2239 Singapore dollars) (Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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