United Overseas Bank (UOB)


SINGAPORE (Nov 18): “I think, from their perspectives, things only get serious when their kids can’t go to school, and they can’t get their lattes and go to yoga.”Unnamed foreign executive, to the Financial Times, referring to the expatriate community’s view of the months-long protests in Hong Kong.

Singapore should revise water deal or risk crisis, Malaysia says

Malaysia renewed its call for Singapore to be more open to revising a water supply agreement inked in 1962 or suffer shortages as reserves shrink.


Event risk puts banks in the spotlight

Are the local banks sufficiently diversified to withstand the unrest in Hong Kong? Will they still be profitable and pay dividends?

SINGAPORE (Nov 18): The local banks — the mainstay in most institutional and retail portfolios because of their profitability and dividends — are warning of a challenging 2020. Macroeconomic variables based on the banks’ expected credit loss (ECL) models are indicating that higher provisions need to be made, impacting net profit.


Banks look to a digital future; wealth management to support growth

(Nov 18): On Nov 14, 11 banks in Hong Kong, including HSBC, OCBC Wing Hang and DBS Hong Kong, announced branch closures because of the protests in the Special Administrative Region. The South China Morning Post reported on Nov 13 that 250, or 19%, of Hong Kong’s 1,300 branches closed on that day, with another 100 closing early. In its bank closure notice, OCBC Wing Hang told customers to use other branches, ATMs or bank online.


Singapore fintech firms grabs more than half of funding in Asean: Report

SINGAPORE (Nov 12): Financial technology firms in Singapore continue to grab the lion’s share of funding in Asean, according to a report by United Overseas Bank (UOB), PwC and the Singapore FinTech Association (SFA).

According to the report, “FinTech in Asean: From Start-up to Scale-up”, fintech companies here received 51% of funding for the region.

Singapore also tops Asean as a preferred base, being home to 45% of all fintech firms in the regional bloc.

Slowing economy and flat earnings turn banks into yield plays

(Nov 11): Amid a slowing economy, banks are being increasingly looked upon as yield plays. A Goldman Sachs report last month said real estate investment trusts had outperformed the Singapore MSCI Index by 16% so far this year, owing to the sustainability and predictability of distributions. “Banks now yield 5% (based on Goldman’s forecast for FY2020) and there is scope for up to 4% dividend per share growth annually,” the report says.


UOB registers 8% higher net earnings of $1.12 bil in 3Q

SINGAPORE (Nov 1): United Overseas Bank posted a positive set of results for the 3Q19 and 9M19 ended Sept 30, driven by strong income growth from across all its business segments.

During the quarter, UOB registered earnings of $1.12 billion, up 8% y-o-y, on the back of stronger client franchise income as well as trading and investment income.

Net interest income increased 5% y-o-y to $1.69 billion led by healthy y-o-y loan growth of 8%.

Watch out for these high yielding blue chip stocks

SINGAPORE (Oct 7): Property group Hongkong Land has climbed into KGI Securities' high dividend watchlist after a recent sell-off, as the research house made "key changes" to its watchlist.

“[Hongkong Land’s] current price is too cheap to ignore,” says analyst Joel Ng in a report on Monday. “HKL offers a 4.1% forward dividend yield and trades at a massive 66% discount to its book value, the cheapest valuation it has traded at in more than 10 years.”


Will digital banks be a threat to Singapore's big three?

SINGAPORE (Sept 26): CGS-CIMB Research says new digital banks are unlikely to threaten the market share of Singapore’s three incumbent lenders.

While CGS-CIMB agrees the potential for disruption is real, the stringent criterion set forth by the Monetary Authority of Singapore is a hurdle.

See: MAS sets high bar for digital bank applicants 

Singapore banks poised to deliver dividend yields among highest across region, says Maybank

SINGAPORE (Sept 26): Maybank Kim Eng Research forecasts that the Singapore banks will deliver a dividend yield of 5.2% for FY2020E – among the highest in the region.

This comes despite gross non-performing loans (NPLs) estimated to rise by 30 basis points to 1.71% by FY2021E.

“With 93% provisioning coverage and strong core-Tier 1, the sector offers good 2020E dividend visibility,” says analyst Thilan Wickramasinghe in a Sept 24 report, noting that the Singapore banks have been actively lowering risk in their business mix.

SGX's sustainability push helps secure win; DBS records highest shareholders' return

SINGAPORE (Sept 16): With an overall score of 40.41 points, the Singapore Exchange has emerged as the finance sector winner of The Edge Singapore’s Billion Dollar Club award. The stock exchange operator beat the three local banks — DBS Group Holdings, United Overseas Bank (UOB) and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) — which came in at second, third and fourth places, respectively.


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