Singapore lender OCBC's Q4 profit falls 10 pct, cautions on economic growth

(Adds comments from OCBC CEO, UOB's results)

SINGAPORE, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd warned of slower economic growth after Singapore's second-biggest listed lender missed market estimates with a 10 percent drop in quarterly profit, due to a weak performance in its insurance business.

Singapore banks are gearing up for tougher times after three years of strong loans growth as the city-state's export-reliant economy slows, partly due to a trade war between China and the United States.

"Looking ahead, global economic growth is expected to slow on concerns of continued trade and geopolitical tensions, subdued market and investment sentiments and rising policy risks in the advanced economies," OCBC CEO Samuel Tsien said in a statement on Friday.

OCBC's October-December net profit came in at S$926 million ($684 million), versus S$1.03 billion a year earlier and compared with the S$1.17 billion average estimate of four analysts, according to data from Refinitiv.

The results came days after top lender DBS Group Holdings Ltd posted an 8 percent rise in quarterly profit, in line with market expectations.

On Friday, United Overseas Bank, the smallest listed lender in the city-state, reported a 7 percent increase in quarterly profit to S$916 million. ($1 = 1.3535 Singapore dollars) (Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Stephen Coates)

2019-02-22 03:00:13

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