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SINGAPORE, Feb 16 (Reuters) - DBS Group Holdings, Singapore's biggest lender, reported a 9 percent decline in quarterly profit that came in below market expectations, with bad debt charges climbing on woes in the offshore oil services sector.
In what has become a test for Singapore's banks long lauded for their conservative lending standards, many firms in the city state's oilfield services industry are struggling to pay debt, hit by weak oil prices and charter rates and delays to projects.
DBS reported net profit of S$913 million ($643 million)in the three months ended December, versus S$1.0 billion a year earlier and below an average forecast of S$936 million from six analysts polled by Reuters.
The bank's bad debt charges rose 87 percent percent to S$462 million from S$247 mllion a year earlier. ($1 = 1.4187 Singapore dollars) (Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)