imageSINGAPORE: Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp , Singapore's second-largest banking group, posted a 59 percent drop in third quarter net profit in the absence of huge one-off gains, but a strong performance from its consumer and insurance businesses helped it beat expectations.

OCBC, whose businesses include private bank Bank of Singapore and insurer Great Eastern Holdings Ltd, earned S$759 million ($612 million) in the three months ended Sept 30, down from S$1.85 billion a year earlier.

Its profit beat the S$642 million average forecast of six analysts polled by Reuters. The fall was magnified by a S$1.13 billion one-off gain a year earlier from the sale of a stake in Fraser and Neave and Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd.

Excluding one-off items, net profit rose 5 percent, boosted by a rise in net interest income and a strong quarter for Great Eastern. However, its treasury business had a tougher quarter due to market volatility.

“The challenging market conditions associated with the uncertainty over the timing of the US Federal Reserve's tapering of bond purchases have reduced our income contribution from trading and market-related activities," CEO Samuel Tsien said in a statement on Friday. OCBC, whose main operations are in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, is one of several banks considering bids for Hong Kong's Wing Hang Bank Ltd.