SINGAPORE: Singapore's second-largest listed lender Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) missed market estimates on Wednesday (Feb 23) by reporting a 14 per cent drop in quarterly net profit, dragged by higher operating expenses.
OCBC's net profit fell to S$973 million in October to December last year from S$1.13 billion a year earlier, versus the S$1.18 billion average of four analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv.
"Looking ahead, we are cautiously optimistic that the operating environment will improve," Group CEO Helen Wong said in a statement.
The bank, which counts Singapore, China and Malaysia among its key markets, said full-year net profit rose 35 per cent after credit allowances more than halved, helped by an improvement in asset quality.
In addition to gains from rising global interest rates, Singapore lenders are benefiting from rebounding economic growth, with the country's economy forecast to grow 3 per cent to 5 per cent this year.
Last week, Southeast Asia's largest bank DBS Group flagged strong business momentum after its profit rose to a record last year.
OCBC said last month that a total of S$13.7 million was lost in a phishing scam involving the bank, up from the S$8.5 million reported in December 2021.
Nearly 800 customers were affected, and about 80 per cent of the amount lost occurred over the year-end festive period from Dec 23 to Dec 30, said OCBC.
Arrangements for "goodwill payouts" have been made, it added.