SINGAPORE, April 30 Singapore bank shares surged
on Wednesday after two top lenders reported record profit for
the first quarter, propping up the main index from 2-week lows.
DBS Group Holdings Ltd shares jumped as much as
2.8 percent to S$17.31, their highest in more than 3 months,
while OCBC Ltd shares gained 3.2 percent to a 3-week
high of S$9.77. The gains pushed the Singapore index up
0.77 percent from the 2-week low it hit on Tuesday.
The two banks posted record quarterly profit that beat
market estimates, powered by a double-digit growth in loans and
improving interest rate margins.
UOB Ltd shares rallied from 5-week lows, leaping
3.4 percent to S$21.89, though its first-quarter results are not
due until after the market closes.
CIMB maintained its "add" rating on DBS and left its target
price of S$20.28 unchanged, saying in a research note it
believed banks would be an outperforming asset class in
Singapore this year.
The brokerage also kept its "hold" rating on OCBC with a
target price of S$10.08.
Among other stocks, shares of Yangzijiang Shipbuilding
Holdings Ltd advanced 1.8 percent after the Chinese
company said its net profit rose 11 percent from a year earlier,
as profit growth from its investment business compensated for
the slide in shipbuilding earnings.
(Reporting by Andrew Toh; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)