SINGAPORE (Reuters) -Singapore's DBS Group Holdings flagged strong loan growth and lower credit costs ahead after a rebound in its mainstay home market fuelled a better-than-expected 37% jump in quarterly net profit for Southeast Asia's biggest lender. The bank joined local peers OCBC and United Overseas Bank in reporting strong results, but the sector's sequential performance slowed sharply, underscoring challenges to maintaining growth. "Overall numbers were OK considering net interest margins have fallen over 40 basis points from pre-COVID levels as rates fell, with the fee side largely expected," said Kevin Kwek, a senior analyst at Stanford C. Bernstein, commenting on DBS.
Southeast Asia's biggest lender DBS Group Ltd and Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings will jointly launch a $500 million debt financing platform, joining a growing trend by banks and investment funds offering debt funding. Headquartered in Singapore, EvolutionX will provide financing to growth stage technology-enabled companies across Asia, with a focus on China, India, and Southeast Asia, DBS and Temasek said in a joint statement on Friday. "Apart from helping founder entrepreneurs avoid dilution of share equity in the company's initial stages of development, growth debt also serves as a complementary tool to tide these companies, which are often cash strapped," Tan Su Shan, group head of institutional banking at DBS said in a statement.
DBS Group said on Friday its private banking arm has started offering trust services for cryptocurrencies, helping rich clients include the emerging asset class in their succession plans. This is the latest move into cryptocurrencies by Southeast Asia's largest bank, which late last year launched a cryptoexchange for institutional and other accredited investors. Several other banks around the world are cautiously starting to offer crypto-related services, often to their very wealthy clients, drawn by the recent surge in the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.