The Week In Numbers: Banks Making Billions

Singapore’s three listed banks collectively made S$2,970m in the first quarter. United Overseas Bank (SGX: U11) clocked in with a 1.6% rise in Net Earnings to S$801m, while DBS Group (SGX: D05) managed a 3% rise in bottom-line profits to S$1.27b. But the star of the quarter was Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (SGX: O39), which reported an 11% year-on-year increase in profits to S$899m.

A grand total of 13 Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) could be moved from the curiously-named category of Specified Investment Product (SIP) to the equally curious grouping called Excluded Investment Product (EIP).

Under new rules by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) “funds that make limited use of derivatives are relatively less complex and should be made more accessible to retail investors”. To encourage investments in ETFs, the Singapore Exchange will waive ETF clearing fees from 1 June to 31 December.

The US economy barely grew in the first three months of 2015. Economists expected the American economy to grow around 1% in the first quarter. But it only expanded at an imperceptibly-slow rate of just 0.2%. The disappointing performance was caused by a slowdown in private sector investments and poor export numbers.

Apple sold 61m iPhones in the first three months of the year. Put another way, it has sold as many phones as there are people in the whole of the United Kingdom. Apple also said it has US$193b in cash reserves. In other words, the company has a much in cash reserves as Germany has in foreign reserves.

The stash of cash is burning a hole in Appel’s pocket. Consequently, the US$770b cash-generating machine has hiked its share buybacks to US$90b and also increased its quarterly dividend payout by 11%.

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