Banking

Singapore moves to switch bank lending rate benchmarks

SINGAPORE (Aug 30): Singapore’s banking body on Friday said it would shift away from using Singapore dollar swap offer rates (SOR) as a key lending benchmark due to likely discontinuation of the London Interbank Offered Rate, which heavily influences SOR.

The change, which will take place over the next two years, will see products such as loans that reference the rate switched to other benchmarks such as Singapore Overnight Rate Average (SORA), Singapore Interbank Offered Rates (SIBOR) or banks’ internal funding rates.

The one job in banking the robots cannot take

SINGAPORE (Sept 2): When HSBC Holdings thwarted a US$500 million ($694 million) central-bank heist, sophisticated computer software did not raise the alarm. The funds flowed undetected from Angola’s reserves to a dormant company’s account in London. It was a teller at a suburban bank branch who became suspicious, declined a request to transfer US$2 million, and triggered a review that uncovered the scam, according to one account of the episode.

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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.

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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.

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