SINGAPORE (Nov 11): DBS Group Holdings reported 3Q19 earnings of $1.63 billion, a 15% increase from $1.41 billion a year ago.

In a bourse filing on Monday, the group also reported that total income for the quarter grew 13% to a new high of $3.82 billion on the back of  loan growth, record fee income and higher trading gains.

Compared to a year ago, net interest income for the quarter grew 8% to $2.46 billion, while loans rose 4% in constant-currency terms to $353 billion spearheaded by non-trade corporate loans across the region.

Net interest margin for 3Q19 saw an increase of four basis points to 1.90%.

On the back of the group’s broad-based growth, net fee income  rose 17% to $814 million.

Segmentally, wealth management fees registered an increase of 22% to $357 million from higher investment product sales, while card fees inched up 9% to $202 million from increased transactions across the region.

Owing to the increase in activities in the equity and debt capital markets, the group’s investment banking fees more than doubled to $55 million, while the 7% increase in transaction fees was attributable mainly to higher cash management and trade finance fees.

Other non-interest income grew 35% to %549 million as a result of a 22% increase in trading income and a two-fold increase in net gain on investment securities to $431 million and $105 million respectively.

However, expenses for the quarter rose 9% to $1.61 billion, including a charge of $22 million to impair certain computerisation investments.

Non-performing assets rose 2% from the previous quarter to $5.94 billion, due primarily to currency effects. Although new non-performing loan formation was moderated by recoveries and write-offs, the group’s non-performing loan (NPL) rate remained unchanged at 1.5%.

The group also noted that its balance sheet remains healthy.

As at end-September, cash and cash equivalents stood at $12.0 billion.

DBS has declared a third-quarter dividend of 30 cents per share, unchanged from the previous quarter.

DBS CEO Piyush Gupta says, “The record operating results for the quarter once again attest to the strength of our business. Our transformed franchise, nimble execution and balance sheet strength will put us in good stead to deliver healthy shareholder returns despite the prevailing macroeconomic and geopolitical headwinds.”

Shares in DBS closed 5 cents lower, or 0.19% down, at $26.61 on Friday.