Kenanga Research & Investment

Author: kiasutrader   |   Latest post: Fri, 22 Jan 2021, 10:30 AM


Regional News Update - 23 November 2020

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Singapore’s Corporate News

▪ Singapore banks making flexi-work a permanent post-Covid feature

A GROWING number of Singapore banks will make flexible work arrangements a permanent fixture for staff, as they make firm strides to new ways of working in the "new normal" brought about by Covid-19. DBS was the latest lender to announce a slew of new work practices on Tuesday. UOB had earlier announced instituting a two-day work-fromhome policy post-pandemic. Singapore's largest lender will give its 29,000-strong workforce the option to work remotely up to 40 per cent of the time, as well as implement a formal job-sharing scheme which enables two employees to share the responsibilities of one full-time role. The salaries of employees under such job-sharing schemes - a relatively new concept in Singapore - will be adjusted based on their new work arrangements. (Source:The Business Times)

▪ DBS applies to wind up Novena Global Healthcare founded by Loh cousins

DBS Bank has applied to the High Court to wind up Novena Global Healthcare Pte Ltd, which is believed to have owed the bank millions of dollars. The firm will be put into liquidation if the High Court grants the application next month. Its parent Novena Global Healthcare Group, incorporated in the Cayman Islands by Singaporean cousins Terence, 42 and Nelson Loh, 40, are being investigated by the police for allegedly using unauthorised signatures of accounting firm Ernst & Young (EY) on its financial statements. (Source:The Straits Times)

Indonesia’s Corporate News

▪ Indonesia central bank governor sees room for further rate cuts

Indonesia's central bank has room for further cuts in its benchmark interest rate with inflation low and economic growth weak, Governor Perry Warjiyo said in a joint news conference with other financial authorities on Tuesday. Mr Warjiyo said Bank Indonesia (BI) kept interest rates unchanged earlier this month to underpin the rupiah, but "we of course saw there was room to lower interest rates". BI would consider inflation, the exchange rate, economic contraction and other factors at its next policy meeting in November, the governor said, while reiterating that he thought the most effective measure to support the economy was via quantitative easing. (Source:The BusinessTimes)

▪ Indonesia considers putting banking regulation under central bank

Indonesian President Joko Widodo is considering issuing an emergency decree to return banking regulation to the central bank’s remit, amid concern about how the COVID-19 pandemic is exposing strain in the financial sector, sources told Reuters. Bank Indonesia (BI) acted as regulator and supervisor of banks in Southeast Asia’s largest economy until the end of 2013 when the Financial Services Authority (OJK) assumed the role. The president has been considering returning the role to BI due to dissatisfaction about OJK’s performance during the pandemic, said two people briefed on the matter, who asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue. (Source:Reuters)

Thailand’s Corporate News

▪ Thai central bank intervenes to curb rapid rise in baht

THAILAND'S central bank has intervened in a bid to stem a rise in the baht because the currency has appreciated too fast and impacted exporters, the country's central bank governor said on Thursday. The strength of the baht, driven by news about progress on developing a coronavirus vaccine, had exacerbated the country's fragile economic recovery, Bank of Thailand governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput told reporters. South-east Asia's second-largest economy, which is heavily reliant on tourism and exports, shrank 6.4 per cent in the third quarter after the preceding quarter's 12.1 per cent slump. Optimism over a vaccine has raised expectations of a revival in tourism, which will boost Thailand's current account surplus and lift its currency, he said. (Source: Business Times)

▪ Thai banks remain resilient in Q3 2020 but profits declined

Ms. Suwannee Jatsadasak, Senior Director, Bank of Thailand, reported on the Thai banking system’s performance in the third quarter of 2020 that the Thai banking system remained resilient with high levels of capital fund, loan loss provision and liquidity to support economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Debt relief measures, coupled with revisions to rules on loan classification and provisioning facilitated bank loan expansion and alleviated the deterioration of bank loan quality. Meanwhile, banking system’s profitability declined as banks continued to set aside loan loss provision at a high level as a cushion against a potential adverse impact of COVID-19 on loan quality. (Source: Thailand Business News)

Source: Kenanga Research - 23 Nov 2020

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