Singapore bank UOB's first-quarter profit falls to two-year low, raises impairment chargesSingapore bank UOB's first-quarter profit falls to two-year low, raises impairment charges
A woman passes the United Overseas Bank branch in Singapore

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore’s United Overseas Bank <UOBH.SI> reported a smaller-than-expected 19% drop in first-quarter net profit on Wednesday, but it increased impairment charges to reflect worsening economic conditions due to the coronavirus outbreak.

UOB said its impairment charges rose to S$286 million in the three months to March 31 from S$93 million a year earlier and it booked an additional regulatory loss allowance reserve of S$260 million, up five times from a year ago.

Net profit at Singapore’s third-largest listed lender dropped to S$855 million ($604.1 million) in the latest quarter from S$1.05 billion a year earlier, compared with an average estimate of S$739.3 million from three analysts, according to Refinitiv data. The profit level was the lowest in just over 2 years, according to Refinitiv data.

(Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Kim Coghill)