The year’s best-performing local bank is DBS Group Holdings, up 25.27% from the start of the year to Dec 13; United Overseas Bank (UOB) is No 2, up 17.5% year to date. Oversea Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) is up 12.2% this year. The banks’ competitor, Sea, which was awarded a digital full bank (DFB) licence by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) last year, narrowly beat UOB to notch a gain of 17.8%.
At one point, Sea was up a lot more. At its all-time high, Sea had gained more than 80% but since that fateful day in October — a month that is sometimes the graveyard of a bull market. Sea’s share price is down 35%.
The local banks are a lot less volatile. Since they were allowed to resume their full dividend payouts, their dividend yields are above 4% (see table 1) and the price to net asset value (P/NAV) ratios are fractionally bigger than one. The local banks’ dividend yields are also higher than those of global banks (see table 2).