Bank of Singapore

Good and bad on trade

(Aug 29): Fears of a global trade war, led by America, have diminished. The issue is compressing into a conflict between China and the US, perhaps reflecting growing superpower rivalry as much as pure economic tension. China is already taking steps to offset the impact.

A couple of months ago there was the risk of a trade war on three fronts: NAFTA, the EU (or automobiles) and China. The first two of these seem to have reached a truce.

Risk of a more hawkish Fed

SINGAPORE (Oct 17): Speculation is rising about an imminent nomination to replace Janet Yellen as chair of the Federal Reserve. None of the main candidates would push the Fed in a more dovish direction. Continuity is most likely, but there is the risk of a hawkish tilt if John Taylor is appointed.

US economy running hot; labour market improves

From Bloomberg

SINGAPORE (Aug 7): The US seems to be creating jobs at an “impressive pace” despite its economy facing tight labour markets and supply shortages, says Bank of Singapore.

In July, the US saw a 209,000 rise in payrolls following a couple of strong months, while the job growth in 2017 is just shy of last year’s 187,000 average rate.

The unemployment rate improved to 4.3%. It has not been lower since early 2001 while surveys confirm the trouble that firms are having in hiring new workers.

Global market rates are slowly but surely going up

SINGAPORE (Aug 2): The overall outlook for developed market rates has not changed much over the past month, says Bank of Singapore.

In a Tuesday Investment Strategy & Research report, Johan Jooste, Chief Investment Officer for the private bank, says the long and short rates are very gradually increasing and that there is little to suggest the central banks have a different agenda from this.

Despite record earnings, OCBC's Tsien sounds note of caution

SINGAPORE (July 27): Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp reported a sterling set of results, with net profit up 11% q-o-q and 22% y-o-y to a record $1.08 billion.

Yet, there was a note of caution from its top management during a results briefing on Thursday.

This was despite all three businesses — core banking, insurance and wealth management — recording growth.

Notably, Great Eastern Holdings doubled its contribution to group profit before tax to 23% in 1H17 from 11% a year ago.

Geopolitics: To fear or not to fear?

From Reuters

(July 18): Geopolitical events almost always make the news headlines and make investors very nervous – especially during flare-ups, as have recently occurred.

However, how much impact do geopolitical events actually have on markets?

A review of key geopolitical events over the past six decades reveals that geopolitical events tend to cause some initial market gyrations but would fully reverse in weeks and in some cases in months.

Very few individual geopolitical events have had a sustained global market impact.

British bankers find it much harder to land a Hong Kong job

HONG KONG (June 16): Andrew Sullivan remembers the days when a young Brit could hustle his way into a job in Hong Kong finance. He ought to know: He did it.

It was 1996, the twilight of British Hong Kong, when Sullivan arrived with a resume that couldn’t get him into a bank in the City of London. The former fighter pilot and chartered surveyor was soon hired as a stock analyst.

“You didn’t need a CV that was perfect,” said Sullivan, now 55. What you needed, he said, was gumption -- and the will to chase business.

Bank of Singapore to keep hiring in hunt for growth, CEO says

SINGAPORE (June 1): Bank of Singapore, which recently broke into the ranks of Asia’s top 10 private banks, intends to keep hiring more relationship managers and focus on serving a wealthier bracket of customers to keep expanding its assets under management.

3 paper tigers of global recession fears

SINGAPORE (May 23): Bank of Singapore (BoS) is maintaining its neutral stance on US and European equities with a focus on rotation and carry themes, while recommending exiting technology and taking exposure in financials in the case of equities.

The subsidiary of OCBC Bank is still expecting positive growth for all of 2017 at the very least, and into 2018 – and projects of US long-bond yields to drift higher from the current level of 2.25% for the rest of the year with the possibility of even touching 3% before the end of the year.  

Prioritise quality over yield when looking at dividends, says Bank of Singapore

SINGAPORE (April 17): As global markets enter into a consolidation phase, Bank of Singapore (BoS) is advising investors to brace themselves for higher volatility by seeking shelter in “dividend growers” – quality companies with strong balance sheets – to support dividend growth over time.

While dividends can serve as an additional source of returns when stock markets are moving sideways, not all high-paying dividend stocks are created equal, says BoS investment strategist James Cheo in a Monday report.

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