Singapore’s second largest lender OCBC reported a 9% fall in Q4 profits YoY, dragged by lower total income. The bank reported positive loan growth, deposit growth, higher fees and commissions, customer treasury activities and assets under management in the last quarter. Net profits after tax were at S$1.13bn ($860mn) for the quarter and S$3.58bn ($2.72bn) for 2020. Net interest margins (NIM) dipped to 1.56% from 1.77% in the prior year. The bank noted, “The impact brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic had negatively impacted our FY20 performance, in particular the decline in net interest margin as a result of the sharp drop in market interest rates and higher expected credit loss allowances to buffer against the deterioration in macroeconomic conditions”.  Allowances for the quarter were 37% higher than the S$207mn ($157mn) a year ago. The bank’s CET1 at year-end was at 15.2% vs. 14.9% at end-2019. They also proposed a dividend of 15.9 cents/share. CEO Samuel Tsien said, “Despite experiencing one of the most difficult economic crises in recent times, we concluded 2020 with a resilient performance. This is a testament to our solid fundamentals, dedicated employees and the balanced strength of our diversified franchise in banking, wealth management and insurance”. OCBC’s USD 4.25% 2024s were 0.1 higher at 110.4, yielding 1.05%.

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