DBS' earnings in first half surpass 2010 total

Updated: 2011-09-14 10:13

By Wang Xiaotian (China Daily)

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DBS' earnings in first half surpass 2010 total

Melvin Teo (left), CEO of DBS China, Peter Seah (center), chairman of DBS Group Holdings Ltd, and Piyush Gupta, CEO of DBS Bank, in Beijing on Tuesday. [Photo / Bloomberg]

Lender's net profit increases by 160%, hitting $47 million

BEIJING - DBS Bank (China) Ltd, a subsidiary of Singapore-based DBS Bank Ltd, the largest bank in Southeast Asia by assets, announced on Sept 13 that it registered strong growth in the first half of 2011 and will continue to strengthen its franchise in the world's second-largest economy despite rising uncertainties.

DBS China's earnings in the first half surpassed its 2010 full-year earnings, and net profit increased by 160 percent year-on-year to a record high of 300 million yuan ($47 million) during that period, bank executives said at a news conference in Beijing on Sept 13. Its deposits grew by 90 percent in the first half.

All of the profit came from its corporate banking business. The consumer banking division is still in the investment phase, although it has been growing fast in recent years, said Piyush Gupta, chief executive officer of DBS Bank.

He said the lender expects the profit from China could contribute 10 to 15 percent to its overall profit in a decade, in contrast with the current 4 to 5 percent.

DBS China doubled its net profit in 2010 and met the stipulated 75 percent or less loan-to-deposit ratio requirement as of the first quarter of this year.

Peter Seah, chairman of DBS Group Holdings Ltd, said that despite the increasing uncertainties in the global macroeconomic environment, DBS remains committed to building out and strengthening its position as an Asian bank.

"And we are especially focused on growing our franchise in China. While Asia is not immune to the downturn, we believe that China will continue to reinforce its position as a global economic powerhouse and drive Asia's prospects for growth."

In the first nine months of this year, DBS China opened six new outlets in Beijing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen, giving it a total of nine branches and 13 sub-branches across China. Three more outlets will be opened before the end of the year.

Seah said DBS China will continue to recruit staff across all functions, particularly in the areas of consumer banking as well as technology and operations.

In December, the bank announced it would take over the retail and commercial banking businesses in China of Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (RBS). RBS would transfer close to 25,000 clients in Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen to DBS China.

But RBS' outlets were not included in the takeover because China's banking regulators didn't permit it, said Melvin Teo, CEO of DBS China.

Teo said more than 6,000 clients have already transferred to DBS, and former RBS employees could choose to join DBS in July. "The whole takeover process went very smoothly."

Seah said the takeover is a step to strengthening DBS' franchise in China and reflects its traditional advantages in consumer banking as well as small and medium-sized enterprise business in the country.

In 2005, DBS officially launched its consumer banking business in Shenzhen, before it set up a locally incorporated subsidiary in China in May 2007.

In nearly three years, the lender's customer base has grown more than fourfold, and it has nearly doubled the number of its employees to 1,000.

DBS is one of the largest financial services groups in Asia with operations in 15 markets including China. It is the largest bank in Singapore measured by assets, and a leading bank in Hong Kong.


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