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3 Things You Should Know About UOB

UOB logoUnited Overseas Bank (SGX: U11) commonly known as UOB, is one of Singapore’s leading banks. It has 68 branches in Singapore and 500 offices in 18 countries in the Asia Pacific, North America, and Western Europe.

The Bank operates in four segments: Personal Financial Services, Institutional Financial Services, Global Markets and Investment Management, and Other.

It was established in 1935, by a group of Chinese-born businessmen who raised $1m to establish their own bank in Singapore. They named it the United Chinese Bank to emphasize its links to the Chinese community in Singapore. By 1951 it had total assets of $ 21,195,963 with a declared dividend of 12%.

In 1965, Singapore achieved independence and the bank changed its name to United Overseas Bank Limited. It also opened its first foreign branch in Hong Kong.

But did you know…

  1. UOB was originally set up as a bank to predominantly serve the Fujian community of Singapore and from 1903 -1941 incorporated 12 local Chinese banks, including the Overseas Union Bank and Lee Wah Bank.
  2. Like rival Singapore banks DBS (SGX:D05) and OCBC (SGX: O39), UOB was named as one of the World’s 50 Safest Banks by Global Finance, achieving position 14 in the 2013 list.
  3. UOB was the first bank in Singapore to offer Mobile Cash – giving account holders the ability to send cash to an authorised payee using just their mobile phone.

UOB seems to be going from strength to strength with its results revealing record quarterly profits of S$722m – an increase of 4.9% on last year and fetch a dividend yield of 2.9%.

And to counter all those that think there may be more exciting investment opportunities, consider this:

David Kuo, Director of Motley Fool Singapore says: “UOB is unquestionably a boring investment. But that is precisely what you want from a bank. If a bank starts to get too interesting then that is when problems arise.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Alison Hunt doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.