+ NII and NIM continue to grow YoY. NII grew 9% YoY, despite a decline in loan growth of 2% YoY, while NIM rose 14bps YoY to 2.09% but declined 3bps QoQ due to lower margin on excess liquidity. Loan growth decline was from Singapore and Indonesia offset by growth in the rest of ASEAN. UOB has maintained its loan growth guidance for FY23e at low to mid-single digit and is guiding for a mid-single digit loan growth for FY24e.
+ Fee income recovers to near an all-time high. Fees grew 14% YoY largely due to higher credit card fees which hit a new record of S$104mn (+89% YoY) while loan-related fees rebounded and grew 5% YoY. Wealth management fees recovered modestly amid cautious investor sentiment. On a QoQ basis, fee income rose 13% from broad-based growth across all segments. Fee income now makes up 17% of total income (3Q22: 16%).
+ New NPAs fall 27% QoQ. New NPA formation fell by 27% QoQ to S$267mn as asset quality stabilised during the quarter. The NPL ratio remained stable QoQ but rose by 10bps YoY to 1.6%. Asset quality remained resilient with SP/NPA increasing slightly to 34%. 3Q23 NPA coverage is at 102% and unsecured NPA coverage at 205%.
– Other non-interest income growth flat YoY and declined QoQ. Other NII growth was flat YoY as customer-related treasury income sustained momentum while trading and liquidity management activities continued to deliver good performance. However, other NII fell 25% QoQ as growth in customer-related treasury income was more than offset by lower valuation on investments due to market volatility.
– Credit costs increase due to higher SPs despite GP write-back. Total allowances rose by 12% YoY to S$151mn mainly due to specific allowance increasing by 80% YoY to S$229mn despite a general allowance write-back of S$78mn for the quarter. The increase in specific allowance was a pre-emptive move to rebalance collateral value in US and Hong Kong/China. Management said that the accounts were not distressed or non-performing. This resulted in credit costs increasing by 2bps YoY to 19bps. Nonetheless, total general allowance for loans, including RLARs, was prudently maintained at 0.9% of performing loans. UOB has maintained its guidance for credit cost of around 25bps for FY23e and has guided for 25-30bps for FY24e.
– Expenses up 4% YoY. Excluding one-offs, expenses rose 4% YoY to S$1,416mn. The increase was across the board, including staff costs, revenue-related and IT-related expenses. Nonetheless, the cost-to-income ratio (CIR) improved 1.6% points YoY to 41.0% on the back of strong income growth. UOB has guided for cost-to-income ratio to remain stable in FY24e and for the one-time costs from the Citigroup acquisition to substantially roll off.