By P.R. Venkat

DBS Group's first-quarter net profit rose mainly because of higher fee and commission income, and the bank expects to deliver strong shareholder returns this year.

Net profit during the quarter rose 15% to 2.96 billion Singapore dollars ($2.18 billion), DBS Group said Thursday. The results were higher than the S$2.54 billion median estimate of three analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Total income was up 13% on the year to S$5.56 billion, with net interest 8% higher at S$3.65 billion.

The bank, one of Southeast Asia's largest by assets, said net fee and commission income rose 23% in the year to S$1.04 billion.

DBS, which increased its capital distribution to shareholders last year, declared an interim dividend of S$0.54 per share for the first quarter.

The estimated dividend payable will be S$1.54 billion.

"We are optimistic that total income and earnings will be better than previously guided and we will be able to deliver another year of strong shareholder returns," Chief Executive Piyush Gupta said.

Write to P.R. Venkat at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-01-24 2012ET