SINGAPORE (Feb 7): On the face of it, the local banks are a lot more exposed to the econom­ic impact of the novel coronavirus than they were to SARS in 2003. But on closer examination, DBS Group Holdings is more diversified now than in 2003. For instance, DBS Hong Kong contributed 22% to net profit during the nine months to Sept 30, 2019, and Greater China including Hong Kong contributed 26% for the same period. In 2003, Hong Kong contributed 33% to DBS’s net prof­it. As of Sept 30, 2019, Greater China – Hong Kong, China and Taiwan – accounted for about 30% of total loans of $358.4 billion.

On the other hand, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) is more exposed to Hong Kong and Greater China now. In 2003, OCBC’s main markets were Singapore, Malay­sia and increasingly Indonesia. In 2014, OCBC completed the acquisition of Wing Hang Bank which gave it a larger presence in Greater Chi­na. As of Sept 30, 2019, the region accounted for 24% of OCBC’s total loans of $263 billion and 20% of core profit before tax for the nine months to Sept 30, 2019.

For United Overseas Bank (UOB), its Great­er China exposure is the smallest of the three at 16.3% of total loans as of Sept 30, 2019. For the nine months to Sept 30, 2019, Greater Chi­na contributed 10.5% to PBT of $3.98 billion.

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