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Announcement:

Moody's: Singapore's three largest banks' full-year 2017 results show improved capital and profitability, mildly weaker asset quality

15 Feb 2018

Singapore, February 15, 2018 -- Moody's Investors Service says that Singapore's three largest banks by assets improved their profitability metrics in 2017, driven by higher interest rates and good growth momentum in non-interest income.

And, capital buffers improved, supported by retained earnings and optimization in their risk-weighted assets.

"However, these improvements were balanced by the banks' mildly weaker asset quality," says Eugene Tarzimanov, a Moody's Vice President and Senior Credit Officer.

"In particular, the banks' nonperforming loan ratios rose moderately, because of their oil and gas services exposures, while the performance in their other exposures remained stable or improved," adds Tarzimanov.

"Most of the banks' oil and gas problems were recognized either in Q3 or Q4 of 2017, ahead of the implementation of SFRS 109, so in 2018, the banks should show less energy-related nonperforming loans and overall stable asset quality," says Simon Chen, a Moody's Vice President and Senior Analyst.

Moody's analysis is contained in its just-released report on DBS Bank Ltd. (DBS, Aa1/Aa1 stable, a1), Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd (OCBC, Aa1/Aa1 stable) and United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB, Aa1/Aa1 stable) titled "2017 results show improved capital and profitability amid a quickened pace of asset cleanup," and is co-authored by Tarzimanov and Chen.

Moody's report points out that pre-provision profitability at the three banks improved in 2017, while OCBC and UOB also improved their returns on assets.

Moody's expects that the three banks' net interest margins and profitability will continue to improve in 2018, as local interest rates rise, following higher US dollar rates. Profitability will also continue to benefit from robust growth in non-interest income, and lower specific provisions due to moderation in asset risk.

During 2017, the three banks increased their core capital buffers — which such buffers staying solid — due to retained earnings and the optimization of risk-weighted assets.

And, the three banks' liquidity profiles remained robust, supported by their stable loan-to-deposit ratios and consistently high liquidity coverage ratios.

As for the new accounting standard that came into effect on 1 January 2018, Moody's says that the SFRS 109 — and the new regulatory loss allowance reserve — will demonstrate a neutral capital effect. The new standards require the banks to keep 1% provisions on non-impaired exposures net of collaterals. The three banks have maintained general provisions in excess of this threshold, and used part of that excess in the second half of 2017 to accelerate NPL recognition and create specific provisions in their oil and gas books.

Subscribers can access the report "Banks -- Singapore: 2017 results show improved capital and profitability amid a quickened pace of asset cleanup" at

http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_1111534.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS ONLY: For more information, please call one of our global press information hotlines: New York +1-212-553-0376, London +44-20-7772-5456, Tokyo +813-5408-4110, Hong Kong +852-3758-1350, Sydney +61-2-9270-8141, Mexico City 001-888-779-5833, São Paulo 0800-891-2518, or Buenos Aires 0800-666-3506. You can also email us at mediarelations@moodys.com or visit our web site at www.moodys.com.

This publication does not announce a credit rating action. For any credit ratings referenced in this publication, please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for the most updated credit rating action information and rating history.

Eugene Tarzimanov
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Singapore Pte. Ltd.
50 Raffles Place #23-06
Singapore Land Tower
Singapore 48623
Singapore
JOURNALISTS: 852 3758 1350
Client Service: 852 3551 3077

Gene Fang
Associate Managing Director
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 852 3758 1350
Client Service: 852 3551 3077

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Singapore Pte. Ltd.
50 Raffles Place #23-06
Singapore Land Tower
Singapore 48623
Singapore
JOURNALISTS: 852 3758 1350
Client Service: 852 3551 3077

No Related Data.
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