Singapore bank DBS warned of pressure on interest margins, especially in China, and flagged risks to loan growth, even as it beat forecasts with a 10 per cent rise in its second-quarter profit.
DBS posted a net profit of S$810 million ($648 million) for April-June against S$735 million a year earlier.
The warning mirrored comments by rival Oversea-Chinese Chinese Banking Corp as Singapore lenders brace for an Asian slowdown amid concerns that Europe’s debt crisis could dampen business and trade activities in the region.
DBS Chief Executive Piyush Gupta also said Southeast Asia’s biggest lender was talking to Indonesia’s central bank about its planned $7.2 billion acquisition of Bank Danamon after Indonesia announced new rules to restrict bank ownership.
“We are working very closely with Bank Indonesia to make sure we have a good understanding of the rules and we will be guided by them on submitting a formal application,” he said.
The deal, first announced in April, has been in a limbo since Indonesia said it plans to restrict single ownership of domestic banks to 40 per cent, although some exemptions will be allowed.
The result was ahead of an average forecast of S$795 million, according to six analysts surveyed by Reuters, but below the first quarter’s record S$933 million profit.
Singapore state investor Temasek owns about 29 per cent of DBS, but its stake would rise to 40 per cent if the DBS-Bank Danamon deal goes ahead as Temasek holds a controlling stake in Danamon.
The results came after OCBC, Singapore’s second-biggest bank, warned on Thursday that loan growth will slow and margins remain under pressure after it posted a better-than-expected rise in quarterly profit.
United Overseas Bank, the smallest of Singapore’s top three lenders, will report earnings on Tuesday.
Gupta said although the bank’s loan pipeline was healthy and the bank was not seeing stress on its loan book, there would be “headwinds” due to an expected slowdown in trade finance business.
DBS’s net interest income, or income from the core lending business, rose 10 per cent to S$1.3 billion from a year earlier, as loans expanded by 22 per cent although interest margin dropped 8 basis from a year earlier.