SINGAPORE, April 30 (Reuters) - Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp , Singapore’s second-biggest lender, posted a 16 percent fall in first quarter profit, hurt by lower contributions from its insurance unit and weak interest rate margins.
OCBC earned S$696 million ($564 million) in the three months ended March, compared with S$832 million a year earlier. Its profit was above the S$656 million average forecast of eight analysts polled by Reuters.
Business momentum is strong and asset quality remains sound, Chief Executive Officer Samuel Tsien said in a statement.
Tsien, who took the top post a year ago after the retirement of David Conner, has said in the past that OCBC is looking to put more resources into Greater China and Indonesia.
The bank earned 60 percent of its profit before tax from Singapore and 25 percent from Malaysia in the first quarter.
Shares of OCBC are up about 12.2 percent so far this year, outperforming rises of about 10 percent by bigger rival DBS Group Holdings and nearly 8 percent by United Overseas Bank.
DBS and UOB will announce first quarter results on May 2. (Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by John O‘Callaghan)