Singapore DBS net profit up 9 pct, beats expectations

SINGAPORE, April 30 Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:31pm EDT

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SINGAPORE, April 30 (Reuters) - DBS Group Holdings , Singapore's biggest bank, beat expectations as first-quarter core net profit rose 9 percent to record, helped by strong growth in loans.

DBS said core net profit came to a record S$1.033 billion ($823 million)for the first three months of 2014, up from S$950 million in the same period a year earlier and above an average forecast of S$857 million from six analysts polled by Reuters.

Net profit including special items, climbed 30 percent to S$1.231 billion, boosted by items such as a one-off gain from the sale of a stake in a Philippine lender.

DBS has so far largely been affected by slower growth in housing market after government cooling measures.

"Despite challenging fixed income markets, quarterly earnings crossed the S$1 billion mark for the first time, a testament to the strength of our franchise," DBS CEO Piyush Gupta said in a statement.

(Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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