DBS reports record 1st-quarter profit as investors look to Singapore as safe haven
DBS, Singapore’s biggest bank by assets, on Tuesday reported a record first-quarter profit, as higher interest rates and safe haven deposit inflows delivered a cash windfall.
The lender, which is also the largest bank in south-east Asia, said net profit rose to S$2.6bn (US$1.9bn) from S$1.8bn a year earlier. Return on equity rose to 18.6 per cent, up from 13.1 per cent over the same period.
Rising interest rates have boosted banks’ profits while Singapore has also benefited from being perceived as a safe place to hold money against global uncertainties caused by the war in Ukraine, US-China tensions and fears over weaknesses in the global financial system.
What to watch in Asia today
Events: The Reserve Bank of Australia’s monetary policy rate-setting meeting begins. The Asian Development Bank’s annual gathering starts in Incheon, South Korea. Finance ministers and central bank governors of Asean Plus Three countries hold a news conference on the event’s sidelines.
Data: South Korea publishes April consumer price index figures. Hong Kong reveals gross domestic product growth.
Earnings: Japan Airlines and Mitsui & Co. present full-year financial results, as does India’s Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone. DBS Group issues first-quarter performance data.
Markets: China’s stock exchanges are closed for the Labour day holiday. Futures in Hong Kong and Japan pointed higher after Wall Street stocks were muted on Monday, when most markets in Europe and Asia were shut. The S&P 500 stock index was flat, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.1 per cent.
Morgan Stanley to cut 3,000 jobs due to dealmaking slowdown
Morgan Stanley is making plans to eliminate another 3,000 jobs by the end of June, as the Wall Street bank hunkers down to survive an extended decline in dealmaking.
People familiar with the discussions say senior managers are aiming to eliminate roughly 5 per cent of staff, excluding the customer-facing financial advisers in Morgan Stanley’s wealth management division, who will be spared.
The cuts will be spread widely across the rest of the New York-headquartered bank, which employees 82,000 people. The investment banking and securities divisions are expected to suffer more than other parts of the bank.
EY global CEO says planned split ‘on pause for a while’
EY’s global chief executive, Carmine Di Sibio, conceded the plan to split the firm in two was “on pause for a while”, in his first public comments since US executives last month nixed a spin-off of its consulting business.
“We are not a corporate where the CEO says something and it just gets done,” he told the Milken Institute. “We’re a series of partnerships… We couldn’t get a particular group of people to vote for it and therefore it’s on pause, and it’s really on pause for a while.”
Di Sibio had pushed the split to boost growth by freeing EY’s consultants from rules barring them working with audit clients.
Joe Biden says US commitment to defending the Philippines is ‘ironclad’
US president Joe Biden has said the US commitment to defend the Philippines was “ironclad” days after Washington accused Beijing of dangerously harassing a patrol ship in the South China Sea.
In a joint statement after meeting his Philippine counterpart Ferdinand Marcos Jr, Biden said any attack on Philippine aircraft or ships in the South China Sea would trigger their mutual defence treaty.
Marcos is on a four-day visit to the US that marks the latest effort by the Biden administration to shore up alliances in the Indo-Pacific to counter the Chinese military.
Hollywood strike looms amid tense talks between writers and studios
Contract talks between Hollywood screenwriters and movie studios headed down to the wire on Monday, leaving the threat of the first strike in more than 15 years hanging over industry.
The 11,500-member Writers Guild of America authorised a strike in mid-April, arguing that studios must agree to change pay and workplace practices that have taken root in the streaming era.
If the two sides fail to reach a deal by midnight in Los Angeles, a strike could begin as soon as Tuesday — though they could continue talks past the deadline if there is progress.
Yellen says US could hit debt ceiling and default as soon as June 1
The US government risks running out of money as soon as June 1, Treasury secretary Janet Yellen warned congressional leaders on Monday, in the latest sign that Washington is heading towards a crisis over the debt ceiling that could result in a catastrophic default.
“After reviewing recent federal tax receipts, our best estimate is that we will be unable to continue to satisfy all of the government’s obligations by early June, and potentially as early as June 1, if Congress does not raise or suspend the debt limit before that time,” Yellen said.
The Treasury estimate was based on the latest available data on tax receipts, she added.