SINGAPORE, Feb 13 (Reuters) - United Overseas Bank , Singapore's third-biggest lender, posted a 1.7 percent rise in quarterly profit on the back of strong loan growth, beating analysts' average forecast.
UOB said net profit for the October-December period came in at S$786 million ($580 million), above an average forecast of S$759 million from six analysts polled by Reuters. It reported a net profit of S$773 million a year earlier.
The better-than-expected result came despite a nearly 20 percent increase in provisioning for bad loans to S$166 million, mainly due to higher individual impairment on loans as well as collective impairment set aside for loan growth, it said. Loans grew at a 9.5 percent pace in 2014.
UOB's bigger rivals, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp and DBS Group Holdings, both missed analysts estimates on higher bad debt provisioning.
$1 = 1.3552 Singapore dollars Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Paul Tait