OCBC says will keep firm grip on cost after reporting 5% rise in Q3 net profit

Net profit for OCBC was S$943 million in the quarter ended September,

OCBC bank Q4 profits
People pass an Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) bank automated teller machine in Singapore January 5, 201

Singapore's OCBC Bank reported a 5 percent growth in third quarter profits, boosted by strong growth in the insurance and wealth management units.

Net profit at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, Singapore's second-biggest bank, was S$943 million in the quarter ended September, the bank said on Thursday.

OCBC said in April its private banking subsidiary Bank of Singapore agreed to buy part of Barclay's wealth management business for $320 million.

The bank said the acquisition of Barclays WIM Singapore and Hong Kong would further OCBC Bank's strategic goal of deepening its presence in its four core markets - Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Greater China.

Third quarter net profit registered a sequential 6 percent growth from the $885 million in Q2, driven by a rise in non-interest income. Non-interest income for OCBC rose 25 percent to S$970 million from S$775 million a year ago.

"Profit from life assurance of S$164 million was higher than S$62 million in 3Q15. Strong underlying insurance business growth by Great Eastern Holdings was accompanied by a 29% increase in new business embedded value and robust quarterly total weighted new sales," the bank said.

Net interest income in the third quarter was S$1.23 billion, 6 percent lower than S$1.32 billion the year before.

"We continue to keep a firm grip on cost, maintain strong liquidity and capital, and ensure prudent levels of provisioning," Chief Executive Samuel Tsienthe said.