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UK fintech firm Revolut hires new Singapore executives as it ramps up regional growth

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - UK-based payments fintech firm Revolut has appointed Mr James Shanahan - previously the chief operating officer (COO) of insurtech company Singapore Life - as its Singapore chief executive officer to lead the growth of its Asia business. The firm has also hired former Credit Suisse managing director Rayson Tan as its new chief compliance officer, chief risk officer and head of legal in Singapore. Ms Pam Chuang, previously the vice-president of sales and partnerships at fintech firm GoBear, has also joined Revolut as its new hea...
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BlackRock's biggest investor PNC sells its stake after 25 years

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG, REUTERS) - PNC Financial Services Group will sell its stake in BlackRock Inc, more than two decades after it bet on the business that became the world's largest asset manager. PNC will exit its investment, worth about US$17.3 billion (S$24.5 billion), with a public secondary offering, it said on Monday (May 11). As part of the transaction, BlackRock will buy back US$1.1 billion of the shares directly from the firm. PNC holds 22 per cent of BlackRock's outstanding shares, making it the largest holder. The separation comes 25 years after P...
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UBS Asia Pacific chief looks to digital and green economy

The brave new world after the coronavirus crisis will see a highly digitalised economy that is also greener and more sustainable, said UBS regional chief Edmund Koh. Mr Koh, who is president of UBS Asia Pacific, added that some industries such as aviation, travel and entertainment will find it challenging while others such as e-commerce and logistics might thrive. He told The Straits Times in an exclusive interview: "We have always maintained that some industries would do well, such as e-commerce, high technology like 5G and automation, logistics like delive...
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DBS Bank joins blockchain trade-finance network Contour

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - DBS Bank has joined Contour's network, which is built on blockchain technology company R3's Corda and digitalises global trade processes such as the creation, exchange, approval and issuance of letters of credit (LCs). It is the first Singapore bank to do so, ahead of the blockchain-based platform's full launch later this year, DBS announced on Monday (May 11). Other banks in the network include BNP Paribas, Bangkok Bank, ING, HSBC, Standard Chartered and Citi Ventures, according to the website for Singapore-based Contour. ...
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Banks to allow temporary halt in payments for some loans

Measures aimed at easing cash flow concerns to include education, vehicle and renovation loans Individuals can choose to temporarily halt payments for education, renovation and motor vehicle loans, in a move by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the finance sector to ease cash flow concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic. Those with commercial or industrial property loans, as well as mortgage equity withdrawal loans, can also apply to their banks to defer payments until the end of this year, subject to certain requirements. Service fees that are...
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Banks to allow temporary halt in payments for education, renovation, motor vehicle loans amid

SINGAPORE - Individuals can choose to temporarily halt payments for education, renovation and motor vehicle loans, in a move by the financial sector to ease cash flow concerns arising from the coronavirus pandemic. Those with commercial or industrial property loans, as well as mortgage equity withdrawal loans, can also apply to their banks to defer payments until the end of this year, subject to certain requirements. Service fees that are typically charged for failing to maintain the minimum average daily or monthly balances in one's retail bank account can ...
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SocGen posts surprise loss as equities traders are wiped out in rout

PARIS (BLOOMBERG) - Societe Generale posted a surprise first-quarter loss after its stock traders were wiped out in the market volatility caused by the coronavirus and the bank set aside 820 million euros (S$1.26 billion) to cover bad loans. Revenue from equities trading and the business of servicing hedge funds slumped 99 per cent to 9 million euros in the first quarter, the French lender said on Thursday (April 30), contributing to a 40 per cent decline at the bank's trading business. SocGen posted a 326 million-euro loss. The results add to a series of se...
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Singapore bank lending dips 0.1% in March from February

SINGAPORE - Bank lending inched down in March from the previous month amid the coronavirus outbreak, as a drop in consumer loans offset a rise in business lending, preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) showed on Thursday (April 30). Loans through the domestic banking unit, which captures lending in all currencies but reflects mainly Singapore-dollar lending, dipped 0.1 per cent in March from February. Total lending stood at $692.4 billion in March, compared with $692.85 billion in February. It also rose 2.4 per cent over the same mo...
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DBS says oil and gas sector accounts for biggest chunk of loans to industries hit by Covid-19

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - DBS on Thursday (April 30) guided that its oil-and-gas (O&G) lending portfolio at $23 billion makes up its single-largest loan exposure to impacted industries made vulnerable by the Covid-19 pandemic, and that it expects further allowances set aside specifically for O&G support services. This comes as the bank reported a 29 per cent fall in Q1 net profit that brought its earnings to its lowest level since 2017. Singapore’s largest bank opened the results season for the local trio with a large bump in allowances set aside to prep...
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DBS Q1 profit falls 29% as loan-loss provisions surge amid coronavirus pandemic

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG, REUTERS) - DBS Group Holdings, Singapore and South-east Asia's largest lender, posted its first quarterly profit decline since 2017 as the coronavirus pandemic and oil price slump triggered a spike in loan-loss provisions. Net income fell 29 per cent to $1.17 billion in the three months ended March 31 from $1.65 billion a year earlier, the bank said on Thursday (April 30). That compares with the $1.19 billion average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. DBS last posted a quarterly profit decline in the third quarter of 2017. ...
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Banks set to report first profit falls since 2016

All three of Singapore's banks are expected to see profit declines for the first time since 2016 as they set aside cash for a potential spike in bad loans stemming from the coronavirus-fuelled economic slump. Net income at each lender probably slid between 21 per cent and 28 per cent in the three months ended March 31 from a year earlier, according to the average estimates of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. DBS Group Holdings, the nation's largest bank, is seen to report the steepest profit drop when it kicks off the earnings season today, while OCBC Ban...
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StanChart eyes quick recovery as profit falls 12% on coronavirus crisis

HONG KONG/LONDON (REUTERS) - Standard Chartered's first-quarter profit tumbled 12 per cent on increased credit impairment and provisions for future loan losses as the coronavirus crisis hammered its borrowers, even as it expects an economic recovery later this year. The emerging markets-focussed lender's more positive tone contrasts with other European lenders that have posted earnings so far, saying it was seeing encouraging signs in China that the recovery could be yet more rapid than that. As a British-based lender focused on Asia, Africa and the Middle E...
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Activist Hohn calls on Wirecard to remove CEO Markus Braun

FRANKFURT (BLOOMBERG) - Billionaire activist investor Christopher Hohn has called on Wirecard to remove chief executive officer Markus Braun after an independent audit of past revenues criticized the German payments processor for internal "shortcomings." The probe by KPMG was unable to obtain the data needed to verify revenues of 1 billion euros (S$1.54 billion) in transactions with third parties. Wirecard hired the accounting firm in October to look into its third-party partner business as well as operations in India and Singapore following a series of reports...
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Credit Suisse 'dream' client becomes nightmare in Luckin scandal

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - Before the accounting scandal and the stock crash and the defaulted loans, Luckin Coffee's billionaire founder Lu Zhengyao was an ideal customer for Credit Suisse Group. "I've had I don't know how many dinners with him in Beijing and he's absolutely the poster child for what we want to do," Tidjane Thiam said at a conference last year when he was still head of the bank. He lauded Lu's relationship with the firm that ranged from private banking to stock sales. "He's a dream client." Luckin's dramatic fall from grace this month blindsid...
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