Singapore says it's studying whether to allow digital-only banks

(May 7): Singapore is discussing the possibility of allowing virtual banks to operate in the city state, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said Tuesday.

“MAS is studying whether to admit such digital-only banks with non-bank parentage,” the financial regulator said in an emailed reply to questions from Bloomberg News. “We have been engaging relevant stakeholders to ascertain the unique value that such entrants could bring to our banking landscape, and understand how potential risks will be managed and contained.”

3 defensive plays to tide investors over a volatile 2019: RHB

SINGAPORE (Jan 23): RHB Research has an “overweight” rating on banks for the sector’s strong growth and high yields; the consumer and industrial space as defensive sector picks; as well as REITs that are beneficiaries of improving economic activity, and/or with strong balance sheets.

Singapore stocks with high yield, low expectations are what Credit Suisse prefers for the year

SINGAPORE (Jan 8): Credit Suisse is recommending Singapore investors stick with a portfolio of quality, high-yield stocks and stocks with low embedded expectations to ride out any volatility in 2019 while positioning for a market recovery.

And while the market’s upward momentum this year may be dulled by dimmer economic and corporate earnings growth outlook, the Swiss investment bank says the below-historical average market P/E of 11.4x and a compelling dividend yield of 4.4% make for an attractive risk-reward proposition for longer-term investors.

MAS orders financial institutions to tighten verification processes in wake of SingHealth cyberattack

SINGAPORE (July 24): The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has ordered banks and other financial institutions to tighten their customer verification processes.

The circular to all financial institutions comes in the wake of a cyberattack at SingHealth, which saw personal information of 1.5 million individuals – including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong – illegally accessed and stolen.

Singapore banks upgraded to 'overweight' as RHB sees Sibor increases offsetting housing loan curbs

SINGAPORE (July 16): RHB Research is upgrading Singapore’s banking sector to “overweight” from “neutral” on expected widening NIM (net interest margin) despite the property cooling measures.

Assuming further hikes in the US federal funds rate (FFR) and the Sibor (Singapore Interbank Offered Rate), RHB is forecasting DBS and UOB to record an FY20 average NIM of 1.96%, This is sharply higher than the two banks’ 1Q18 average NIM of 1.84%.

4 ways the O&G sector continues to face protracted soft conditions: Phillip

SINGAPORE (Apr 16): Phillip Capital is of the view that Singapore’s oil and gas (O&G) sector is facing an extended period of soft conditions.

To begin with, banks have now become the de facto owners of vessels, rigs and other facilities taken over from loan defaulters, and are now facing difficulty in disposing of such assets, in the research house’s view.  

Criminals are now creating non-existent identities to conduct fraud, survey finds

SINGAPORE (Feb 7): While prevention technologies have managed to deter identity fraud activities such as card skimming, criminals are now beginning to steal identities or even constructing entirely new ones to obtain real credit cards from banks.

Cybersecurity a top priority as banks turn toward digitalisation, innovation

SINGAPORE (Jan 30): Close to nine in 10 banks globally say addressing cybersecurity in the top priority in 2018, amid a shift toward digitalisation and innovation for future growth.

To this end, some 73% of banks around the world are planning to invest in technology to mitigate cybersecurity threats, according to the EY Global Banking Outlook 2018 released today.

The report surveyed senior executives at 221 banking institutions across Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America and emerging markets. These include nine banking institutions in Singapore.

What's keeping local SMEs from obtaining business financing?

SINGAPORE (Oct 4): A majority of small medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore are unlikely to qualify for business financing, according to recent data from Linkflow Capital.

Since Linkflow Capital's SME loans comparison web portal was launched in January, out of 1,065 SMEs which have utilised its free online loan assessment and comparison tool, 81% or 863 of the users may not meet these requirements for financing.

Singapore July bank lending falls 0.5%

SINGAPORE (Aug 31): Singapore's total bank lending in July fell 0.5% from June, due to a decline in loans to businesses, central bank data showed on Thursday.

Loans and advances by domestic banking units in the city-state amounted to $632.6 billion last month, down from $635.5 billion in June.

Bank lending in July rose 5.9% from a year earlier.

Loans and advances in Asian currency units (ACU) fell to $553.4 billion in July from $555.2 billion in June. It was at $518.2 billion a year earlier.

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