By Amanda Lee

Shares of DBS Group hit a new high after Singapore's largest bank posted record earnings on the back of broad gains across its operating segments.

Shares were up 2.2% at S$35.65 at the mid-day break Thursday, putting year-to-date gains at 17% and taking the company's market capitalization above 100 billion Singapore dollars (US$73.50 billion) for the first time.

The bank, one of Southeast Asia's largest by assets, said ahead of market open that first-quarter net profit rose 15% on the year to a record S$2.96 billion, while return on equity reached 19%, also a record.

Total income also hit a new high, climbing 13% to S$5.56 billion. That gain was supported by a 23% rise in net fee and commission income, and a 8% jump in net interest income as loans grew.

Jefferies analysts in a note described the bank's earnings as even better than expected, highlighting improvements in asset quality. They have a buy rating on the stock and a S$38.00 price target.

The bank's robust net interest income was driven by loan growth and net interest margin expansion, beating Citi Research's expectations.

The record profits will likely soothe investors' concerns about DBS's ability to maintain dividend payouts, Citi analyst Yong Hong Tan said in a note.

He also highlighted that DBS's cost discipline led to a 6% drop in operating expenses even as it notched strong growth.

Citi has a buy rating on the stock with a target of S$37.50.

Write to Amanda Lee at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-02-24 0151ET