Singapore's DBS Group said on Monday net profit for the third quarter jumped 15 percent, helped by rising fee income, higher returns from trading and loan growth. Net profit in the three months ended Sept. 30 was at S$1.63 billion, a gain from S$1.41 billion in the corresponding period a year ago.

DBS Group Holdings Ltd, Southeast Asia's biggest lender, said net interest income rose 8 percent to S$2.46 billion in the September quarter. This has come at a time when Singapore's lenders are facing challenging outlook as "interest rates soften and lending moderates after robust growth in recent years," Reuters reported.

"The record operating results for the quarter once again attest to the strength of our business. Our transformed franchise, nimble execution and balance sheet strength will put us in good stead to deliver healthy shareholder returns despite the prevailing macroeconomic and geopolitical headwinds," DBS CEO Piyush Gupta said.

DBS Group
DBS Group. Reuters

Net fee income rose 17 percent to SGD 814 million from broad-based growth while wealth management fees increased 22% to SGD 357 million from higher investment product sales. Card fees grew 9% to SGD 202 million from increased transactions across the region. Investment banking fees more than doubled to SGD 55 million as equity and debt capital market activities increased. Transaction service fees grew 7% to SGD 190 million as both cash management and trade finance fees were higher.

Total income for DBS increased 13% to a new high of SGD 3.82 billion from loan growth, record fee income and higher trading gains, the bank said in a statement. Non-performing assets rose 2% from the previous quarter to SGD 5.94 billion but the bank said it was largely due to currency effects. The Board declared a third-quarter dividend of SGD 30 cents per share, unchanged from the previous quarter.