DBS Group announced net profit of SGD 6.80 billion ($5.04 billion) in 2021, up 44% from the previous year and restoring a trend of consecutively higher earnings that the pandemic disrupted in the previous year.
Return on equity rose to 12.5% from 9.1% a year ago. Strong business momentum mitigated the full-period impact of interest rate cuts in March 2020 and exceptional investment gains the previous year. Loan growth of 9% was the highest in seven years, while fee income and treasury markets income rose to record levels. Asset quality improved. Non-performing assets fell 13% during the year, with most of the decline occurring in the fourth quarter due to repayments of two significant non-performing loans. Total allowances fell to SGD 52 million ($38.6 million) from SGD 3.07 billion ($2.27 billion) a year ago.
Piyush Gupta, CEO of DBS said, “The robust growth in our loan book, along with the solid 15% growth in fee income, speak to a recovering economic environment as well as our broadly diversified franchise. I am pleased that we have managed expenses and credit costs well through this period. Equally important, we have made significant investments in our future by expanding our footprint in India, Taiwan and the Greater Bay Area and building new digital platforms to give us additional engines of growth. The Board raised the quarterly dividend by 9% to 36 cents per share. To share our success with the community, we used a one-time gain to contribute a further SGD 100 million ($74.2 million) for the DBS Foundation and other charitable causes. We look forward to the coming year with a prudently managed balance sheet that is poised to benefit from rising interest rates”.
Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker