SINGAPORE Feb 17 United Overseas Bank Ltd
shares jumped to their highest in two-and-a-half weeks
on Monday on positive quarterly results, while Singapore stocks
extended gains from the previous week as the rest of Asia edged
up on easing concerns about emerging-market rout.
Shares of UOB rose as much as 2.6 percent to S$20.42, their
highest since Jan. 28 and heading for their biggest daily gain
in seven months.
UOB, the smallest of Singapore's three banks by assets,
posted an 11.1 percent rise in its fourth-quarter net profit,
beating expectations, as strong loan growth boosted core
"We believe UOB's diverse ASEAN footprint can allow it to
take intra-regional trade related lending," Barclays analysts
said in a note. "While credit costs may normalise upwards as
economic growth outlook moderates, we believe UOB's disciplined
approach and relatively conservative growth vs peers in recent
years will result in manageable asset quality."
Barclays has an "overweight" rating on UOB and a target
price of S$23.60.
The three Singapore banks have posted positive earnings amid
concerns that government and central bank curbs on property
transactions and lending are set to slow growth in mortgages as
well as lending to property firms.
The benchmark Straits Times Index was up 0.8
percent at 3,062.61 as of 0437 GMT, after rising 0.8 percent
last week. MSCI's index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
was up 0.7 percent.
Hutchison Port Holdings Trust dropped as much as
5.2 percent to its near two-month low of $0.64, making it the
worst performer on the index, after the company underwent