Grab eyes Singapore banking licence as regulator studies virtual banks

SINGAPORE (June 17): Grab, Southeast Asia’s most valuable start-up, is exploring a move into Singapore banking as regulators in the city state consider allowing online-only banks into its market, four people with knowledge of the process say.

Grab is close to hiring a consultancy to advise it on its banking potential and is gearing up to apply for a digital-only bank licence in Singapore if the banking regulator decides to open up the sector, say the people, who declined to be identified, as they were not authorised to speak to the media.


New UOB-Mastercard partnership targets SMEs with free golf club access, hotel & dining perks

SINGAPORE (May 28): United Overseas Bank (UOB) and Mastercard today announced the launch of the UOB Regal Business Metal Card, the region’s first World Elite Mastercard metal card for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

UOB reports 8% higher 1Q earnings of $1.05 bil on interest income growth

SINGAPORE (May 3):  UOB Group reported earnings of $1.05 billion for the 1Q ended March, up 8% from a year ago on higher net interest income.  

Total income grew 8% to $2.5 billion on-year from $2.2 billion in 1Q18, led by growth in interest income for the quarter, which more than offset a decline in fee and commission income.

Net interest income rose 8% to $1.6 billion based on a broad-based growth of 12%, which was partially offset by net interest margin (NIM) compression of five basis points to 1.79%.

UOB, OCBC to benefit from mortgage rate hikes this year, says DBS

SINGAPORE (Apr 2): DBS Vickers Securities is remaining bullish on Singapore’s banks as a dividend yield play, while highlighting rising mortgage rates as the sector’s bright spot amid higher cost of funds this year.  

In a Tuesday report, analyst Lim Rui Wen says UOB will benefiting from hikes in mortgage rates in 1Q19, as it was the first to increase it Singdollar fixed deposit rates during February this year.

According to UOB, its mortgages based on fixed deposit rates may grow up to 70 basis points.

OCBC still bullish on banking stocks after a lacklustre FY18

SINGAPORE (Mar 26): OCBC Investment Research remains bullish on Singapore’s banking space while keeping its sector “overweight” with “buy” calls on both DBS and UOB, which have been given fair value estimates of $29.31 and $28.30, respectively.

Both stocks had dividend yields of 4.8%, with DBS and UOB trading at the respective book values of 1.3 times and 1.1 times, or at an average of 1.2 times historical book as at the close of Wednesday.

Singapore banks to shine despite regional macros, competition from fintechs: Maybank

SINGAPORE (Mar 18): Maybank Kim Eng is keeping “positive” on Singapore’s banking sector while noting significant interest among Malaysian investors in Singapore banks from a flight-to-quality angle, and for their high dividend yields as the SGD appreciates.

Analysts shave UOB forecasts on operating challenges & limited upside, but remain positive at 'buy'

SINGAPORE (Feb 25): Jefferies and OCBC Investment Research are maintaining their “buy” calls on United Overseas Bank (UOB) with a target price and fair value of $30 and $28.30, respectively, even after the bank’s recently reported set of 4Q and FY18 financials came in slightly below both research houses’ expectations.

DBS undergoes target price cuts after a record FY18, but remains a 'buy'

SINGAPORE (Feb 19): Jefferies Singapore, OCBC Investment Research and RHB Research are maintaining their “buy” calls on DBS Group while lowering their price targets to $28.50, $29.31 and $28.80, respectively.

This comes after the release of its 4Q18 results, which saw earnings grow 8% y-o-y to $1.32 billion to bring the bank’s earnings for the full year to a record high of $5.63 billion.

Western Union mobile app launched in Singapore

SINGAPORE (Dec 18): Money remitter Western Union today announced the launch of its mobile app in Singapore – making it the third destination in Asia, after Hong Kong and Malaysia, where the app can be used for Western Union transactions.

Now available on the Google Play and Apple’s App Store, the app enables customers to transfer money to bank accounts worldwide, mobile wallets where available, or to Western Union’s Agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories.

DBS reports 72% higher 3Q net profit of $1.4 bil on record total income

SINGAPORE (Nov 5): DBS Group Holdings reported a net profit of $1.4 billion for 3Q18, up 72% from $822 million a year ago when accelerated allowances had been taken for weak oil & gas support service exposures.

The group’s latest performance in 3Q was attributed to a sustained loan growth, fee income trends and net interest margin progression.

An average estimate of three analysts polled by Refinitiv had expected 3Q earnings of $1.47 billion.

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