UOB Group reported net profit of SGD2.0 billion ($1.45 billion) for the first half of 2022 (1H22), stable year-on-year, with the strong performance in the second quarter ended 30 June 2022 (2Q22) making good a slower first quarter.
Net profit for 2Q22 of SGD1.1 billion ($800 million) was 11% higher than a year ago. Net interest income grew 18% year on year led by strong margin improvement and healthy loan growth. Asset quality remained resilient with total credit costs at 22 basis points and non-performing loan (NPL) ratio at 1.7%.
In 1H22, group wholesale banking income increased 16% year on year to S$2.9 billion with margin lift and loan growth from short-term working capital and debt capital market deals. Loan and investment banking fees hit a new high as the Group supported its business clients in their regional expansion. The Group’s cross-border income grew 13% year on year, despite near-term headwinds from macroeconomic uncertainties around the world.
Group Retail’s income in 1H22 declined 3% from a year earlier to SGD$1.7 billion (1.2 billion), impacted by softer wealth momentum as investors turned cautious amid market uncertainties. Assets under management from affluent customers were stable at SGD138 billion ($100 billion). The group’s deposits registered margin improvement and volume growth across key markets in the region while credit card billings posted strong growth as regional economies reopen and travel resumes.
The group continued to expand its sustainability portfolio with new products, solutions and initiatives in 1H22. The Group’s sustainable financing portfolio rose to S$20.0 billion, while its total assets under management in environmental, social and governance-focused investments stood at SGD11.7 billion ($8.4 billion) as at 30 June 2022.
The board declared an interim dividend of 60 cents per ordinary share, representing a payout ratio of approximately 50%.
Mr Wee Ee Cheong, UOB’s deputy chairman and CEO, said, “We have delivered stable profits buoyed by higher-than-expected net interest income driven by rising interest rates and our active balance sheet management. This rising interest rate environment is set to further boost our margins for the year.
“We continue to see economic activity picking up as borders reopen and investment flows resume. In Singapore, consumer sentiment is holding up well and employment is strong. Institutional and private wealth inflows remain steady given the country’s safe haven and regional hub status. As such, while the aggressive rate increases around the world are going to put a damper on global growth, we remain fairly optimistic of the resilience of our key markets in Southeast Asia.
“The long-term potential of our region remains bright. Backed by our strong balance sheet, healthy capital and liquidity positions and prudent approach, we are well-positioned to navigate the near-term headwinds with our customers and the community.”
Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker