DBS profit jumps 32% to record on rates, flags upbeat outlook

The bank saw sustained business momentum in the quarter and asset quality was resilient, DBS CEO Piyush Gupta said in a statement. Looking ahead to next year, he said the loan pipeline remained healthy and could reach mid-single digit growth.

While the bank’s net fee and commission income fell 13 per cent in the quarter, hurt by weakness in the wealth management business in depressed markets, Gupta forecast double-digit fee income growth for next year, led by wealth management and credit cards.

Return on equity at DBS rose to a record 16.3 per cent in the quarter and net interest income surged 44 per cent. Its net interest margin, a key profitability gauge, improved to 1.90 per cent in the quarter from 1.43 per cent a year earlier.

Shares of Singapore banks have risen between 4 per cent to 6 per cent so far this year, outperforming the broader market on expectations of big expansions in their net interest margins.