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Singapore's UOB profit falls 7.8 percent; bad debt charges jump

The United Overseas Bank (UOB) Plaza building is pictured in the central business district in Singapore July 24, 2015. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore's United Overseas Bank (UOBH.SI) posted a 7.8 percent drop in third-quarter net profit on Friday, hurt by a jump in bad debt charges due to losses from its exposure to the oil and gas sector.

Singapore banks are facing mounting risks as credit woes deepen for the offshore services sector, which has been hit hard by an almost two-year rout in oil prices and a slowing economy.

UOB CEO Wee Ee Cheong said the bank expected subdued global economic growth and volatile market conditions in the months ahead.

UOB, the city-state's third-biggest lender, said net profit came in at S$791 million ($567.15 million) in the three months ended September, versus a profit of S$858 million a year earlier. Bad debt charges rose 15.7 percent.

The result was slightly better than the average forecast of S$747 million from five analysts polled by Reuters, as loans grew at a 7 percent pace compared with a decline of 2 percent for rival Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) (OCBC.SI).


OCBC on Thursday reported a better-than-expected 5 percent rise in third-quarter profit, helped by gains from its insurance unit and wealth management which offset a rise in provisions for bad debt.


($1 = 1.3947 Singapore dollars)


(Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Stephen Coates)