United Overseas Bank (UOB) remains a work in progress, says Maybank analyst Thilan Wickramasinghe. As a bank with a wide ASEAN footprint, UOB has some catching up to do to protect against ESG (environmental, social and governance) risks, while maintaining its reputation within SME banking needs. 

Wickramasinghe is maintaining his “hold” call on the bank, with an unchanged target price of $20.79.

“As a group with a large SME customer base, UOB is particularly exposed to social risks in terms of balancing shareholder returns and supporting small business owners in a backdrop of Covid-19. Its ESG financing portfolio and certain diversity metrics lag Singapore banking peers,” he says in a September 18 note. 

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