Singapore banks

Singapore banks have good dividend visibility, but non-performing loans pose an increasing risk: Maybank

SINGAPORE (Sept 12): Singapore banks seem to be a cut above the rest in Asean, offering some of the highest dividends and ranking among the cheapest in price-to-equity (PE) terms, bolstered by strong balance sheets. 

But a recent report from Maybank Kim Eng which uses artificial intelligence, has revealed that the biggest threat to the appeal of Singapore banks appears to overseas lending – which accounts for 63% of incremental loan growth for Singapore banks. In turn, this affects the banks’ non-performing loan (NPL) figures. 

UOB is DBS's top pick while OCBC is cut to 'hold' on dividend policy overhang

SINGAPORE (June 25): DBS Group Research is retaining United Overseas Bank (UOB) as its top pick among Singapore banks while Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) has been downgraded to “hold” with a target price of $11.50.

DBS likes UOB for its high dividend yield of 4.7%, strong capital profile and least exposure to Greater China. However, OCBC’s dividend policy could continue to weigh on its share price performance while inorganic growth opportunities may encounter execution risks.

Virtual banks not a threat to Singapore banks – for now, says CGS-CIMB

SINGAPORE (June 20): The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is studying the potential for opening the doors to “digital-only banks with non-bank parentage”.

But CGS-CIMB Research dismisses fears that such virtual banks on could put a dent in the market share of incumbents DBS Group Holdings (DBS), Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) and United Overseas Bank (UOB) – at least for now.

“We think that virtual banks are not likely to threaten the primary lending businesses of DBS, OCBC and UOB in the near term,” says lead analyst Andrea Choong in a report on Wednesday.

CGS-CIMB keeps UOB as top bank sector pick despite underperforming NIM expansion

SINGAPORE (June 3): CGS-CIMB Research is keeping United Overseas Bank (UOB) as its top pick among the Singapore banks, despite the bank’s NIM expansion underperforming compared to its peers.

According to lead analyst Andrea Choong, UOB’s valuations are inexpensive at 1.0 times FY19F price-to-book value (P/BV) – close to 1 standard deviation below its long-term mean. The bank also offers a FY19F dividend yield of 5.1%.

RHB stays 'overweight' on Singapore banks as MAS keeps policy unchanged

SINGAPORE (Apr 15): RHB Group Research is maintaining its “overweight” call on Singapore banks, after the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Friday kept its monetary policy settings unchanged amid a worsening global growth outlook and low inflation.

MAS uses the exchange rate as its main policy tool. After tightening policy twice last year, the central bank last week left the slope and width of the currency band unchanged, as well as the level at which it is centred.

MAS says the stance is “consistent with a modest and gradual appreciation path” of the currency band.

DBS, UOB poised for better NIMs and higher dividend yields, says Maybank

SINGAPORE (Feb 13): Maybank Kim Eng remains positive on the outlook of Singapore’s banking sector, with DBS and United Overseas Bank as its top picks for their gearing towards better net interest margins (NIMs) as well as better dividend-yield visibility.

This comes ahead of the release of DBS’s 4Q18 results on Feb 18, followed by UOB and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), rated “hold” with a target price of $10.95, on Feb 22.  

Banking on banks

SINGAPORE (Feb 1): Banks are increasingly turning into yield plays, which tend to do well when interest rates are not rising sharply.

And analysts expect the three local banks to continue to experience slow and steady growth this year and into 2020, global financial crises notwithstanding.

In a recent interview with The Edge Singapore, Harsh Modi, banking analyst at JPMorgan for Southeast Asia, indicated that Singapore banks stood out as the most visible in terms of margins and loan growth.

Why UOB is the better of two 'buys', according to DBS

SINGAPORE (Dec 4): DBS Vickers Securities is maintaining its “buy” for United Overseas Bank (UOB) and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) with target prices of $29.50 and $13.20.

In a Tuesday report, analyst Lim Rui Wen notes that UOB is offering close to 5% yield and OCBC, at around 4%.

Singapore banks a 'buy' on higher ROE in medium term: Jefferies

SINGAPORE (Oct 11): Jefferies is reiterating its modestly bullish stance on Singapore within the global asset allocation.

The three local banks – DBS, UOB and OCBC – contribute about 40% weight of local market index.

The Singapore central bank chief has an upbeat outlook on the economy, though being cautious about slump in investment, if global sentiment are negatively impacted.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is due to announce its policy statement on Friday.

Shares in DBS drop after suffering worst performance in treasury and markets operation since Piyush took top job

(Aug 2): DBS Group Holdings Ltd. shares fell after second-quarter results suffered from what Chief Executive Officer Piyush Gupta described as the worst performance in its treasury and markets operation since he took the top job almost a decade ago.

See: DBS 2Q net profit up 20% to $1.37 bil from year ago; declares 60 cents interim dividend

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