SINGAPORE (Jan 22): The three local banks — DBS Group Holdings, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp and United Overseas Bank — have risen at a faster pace than the finance companies. Their price-to-book ratios are significantly higher than the three finance companies Hong Leong Finance (HLF), Sing Investments & Finance (SIF) and Singapura Finance (see Chart 1). As a result, the banks’ dividend yields have fallen, while those of finance companies are more attractive.

There are at least half a dozen reasons for the finance companies’ lower valuations, including liquidity, capital, profitability, business models, geography and cost-to-income ratios.

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