Next Week’s News Today: Will The US Raise Rates?

The earnings season steps up a gear with two Singapore banks set to report numbers next week. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (SGX: O39) will be the first to step into the spotlight on Wednesday.

In July, OCBC reported a 14% jump in second-quarter earnings, which beat market expectations. The improvement was driven by a rise in customer loans coupled with a better net interest margin. However, provisions for bad debts crept up from the previous quarter.

United Overseas Bank (SGX: U11) reports quarterly numbers on Thursday. UOB, which generates around 60% of its revenues in Singapore, said in July that profits fell 5.7%. The bank blamed the fall on lower treasury and investment income.

Elsewhere amongst the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) companies, Global Logistics Properties (SGX: MC0) and Sembcorp Industries (SGX: U96) are pencilled in for quarterly numbers too. In August, Sembcorp Industries warned that the rest of the year could be challenging for the Singapore energy business.

A raft of mid-cap Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are set to report results next week too. They include CapitaLand Commercial Trust (SGX: C61U), Ascott Residence Trust (SA68U) and CDL Hospitality Trust (SGX: J85).

Away from the REITs, Raffles Medical Group (SGX: R01) will deliver a report on its health on Monday. The hospital operator warned in July that a more measured pace of economic growth in Singapore and the region could have a dampening effect on healthcare demand.

Other mid-caps that are scheduled for results include property developer Wing Tai Holdings (SGX: W05), Singapore Post (SGX: S08) and SMRT Corporation (SGX: 53).

On the economic front, the US Federal Reserve will announce its latest interest-rate decision on Thursday. As much as the US would like to hike rates, the move by China to cut rates last week has put the cat amongst the pigeons. It could be nigh on impossible for America to raise the cost of borrowing should the Chinese yuan depreciate.

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