DBS says Q4 net profit below expectations on weak margins

SINGAPORE Tue Feb 5, 2013 6:37pm EST

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SINGAPORE Feb 6 (Reuters) - DBS Group Holdings, Southeast Asia's biggest lender, posted an 11 percent rise in core fourth-quarter net profit on Wednesday after a drop in bad debt charges but missed expectations due to weak margins.

DBS made a net profit of S$760 million ($613.5 million) for October-December against a net profit of S$731 million a year earlier. This missed an average forecast of S$810 million, according to six analysts surveyed by Reuters.

Including a one-time gain of S$450 million from the sale of its stake in Bank of Philippine Islands, DBS earned S$1.2 billion in the fourth quarter.

Net interest income was unchanged at S$1.29 billion as a lower net interest margin offset the impact of loan growth which was 8 percent year-on-year. ($1 = 1.2387 Singapore dollars) (Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Richard Pullin)