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Credit Suisse's APAC business reports highest level of credit provisions

Credit Suisse Group AG’s APAC business recorded the highest level of credit provisions for potential loan losses across each of the bank’s major divisions, reports Reuters, based on the lender’s Q2 results. The Swiss-based lender made $88.66m in provisions for credit losses in APAC for Q2, down 16% from around $105.96m in Q1. The lender named four individual potential bad-loan cases in the region, up from three in the Q1. APAC accounted for most of Credit Suisse’s loan loss provisions in Q2, ahead of the $84.12m for global markets and around $73.21m in in...
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Chinese banks should shift from SWIFT as sanctions loom: report

Chinese banks are urged to increase its use of the country’s own financial messaging network for cross-border transactions in the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau, reports Reuters. Greater use of the Cross-Border Interbank Payment System (CIPS) instead of the SWIFT system would cut exposure of China’s global payments data to the United States, the Bank of China International (BOCI) said in a report co-authored by a former foreign exchange regulator. Launched in 2015 to help internationalise the yuan, CIPS said it processed $19.4b (CNY135.7b) a day in 2019, with...
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HSBC's H1 profit plunges 69% to $3.1b

Higher than expected credit losses and other impairment charges (ECL) dragged down HSBC’s H1 2020 profits by 69% to $3.1b, including a $1.2b impairment of software intangibles mainly in Europe, according to an announcement. Revenue slipped 9% to $26.7b on the back of interest rate cuts and market impacts in life insurance manufacturing and adverse valuation adjustments in global banking and markets, the bank said. Net interest margin went down 18bp to 1.43% for H1 whilst also declining to 1.33% for Q2 2020. Reported ECL hiked to $6.9bn as a result of the pan...
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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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