UOB Group achieved record net earnings of $978 million for the first quarter of 2018, up 21% from a year ago. Total income reached $2.23 billion, led by strong growth in both net interest income and net fee and commission income.
Compared with the fourth quarter of 2017, net earnings rose 14% mainly from lower expected credit loss allowances and operating expenses.
Mr Wee Ee Cheong, UOB’s Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Against a backdrop of an improving operating environment and a pick-up in customers’ activities, we achieved our strongest quarter ever, with double-digit percentage earnings growth.
“With the more benign environment and issues in the oil and gas segment largely addressed, our NPL ratio and credit costs improved. Our balance sheet remained strong, backed by healthy capital and liquidity positions. Our recent maiden issuances of a covered bond in sterling, onshore Chinese yuan financial bond – both firsts by a Singapore bank – and US dollar-denominated senior notes were well-received and reflected investor confidence in the Bank.
“We continue to invest in our core franchise, riding on the growing digital connectivity in the region to enhance the customer experience for consumers and businesses. For example, we are the first regional bank to establish a joint venture to provide a next-generation digital credit assessment solution to make it smarter and faster for companies to extend credit to underserved customers across ASEAN.
“Despite ongoing trade tensions and financial market volatilities, we are confident of Asia’s economic fundamentals and growth potential which continue to present immense opportunities given rising urbanisation, affluence and business flows. As a long-term player with an extensive footprint and connectivity in the region, UOB is well-placed to meet our customers’ growth needs.”
Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker