31 Jul '17, 11pm

via gadfly

It took an earnings announcement from the smallest of Singapore's banks to shake the edifice of optimism that investors had built around all three of them. United Overseas Bank Ltd.'s 5.5 percent profit growth in the June quarter was better than what analysts had expected. Yet UOB's shares fell 2.2 percent on Friday (they closed 0.3 percent lower on Monday), dragging down stocks of bigger rivals -- DBS Group Holdings Ltd. and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. DBS shares, YTD +24.7% Chalk up the nervousness to exuberance. A year ago, investors weren't willing to pay even 1 time the consensus estimate of banks' book value. Now the lenders command premiums of 12 to 20 percent on the same metric. While that doesn't make Singaporean lenders as richly valued as their Hong Kong or Australian counterparts, the run-up in share prices has effectively sidelined investors' outsize concern...

Full article: https://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2017-07-31/sing...

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