Singapore-based United
Overseas Bank (UOB) has posted a 2.3% increase in first half net
profit to S$1.25bn ($1.03bn), ahead of analyst
forecasts.

UOB’s first half net
interest income remained flat at S$1.78bn; fees and commission
income rose by 17.3% to S$668m.

Less positive metrics
included:

  • retail banking profit in the first half
    decreased by 2.3% to S$508m;
  • a 150 basis point increase in UOB’s
    cost-income ratio to 41.8%;
  • first half net interest margin fell by 28
    basis points to 1.91%;
  • Total impairments in the first half
    increased by 23.5% to S$198m;
  • UOB’s Tier 1 Capital ratio fell by 40
    basis points to 14.5%, and
  • Operating expenses, driven in large part
    by increased wage costs, rose by 10.4% to S$1.2bn.

On a more positive note,
net customer loans increased by 7% to S$128.5bn; customer deposits
rose by 1.2% to S$148.4bn.

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By GlobalData