The Week In Numbers: DBS Group Shines

The International Monetary Fund is at it again. Ahead of the meeting of G20 finance ministers in Shanghai, the IMF has warned that the global economy has weakened further and cautioned that it is “highly vulnerable to adverse shocks.

It attributed the weakness to increasing financial turbulence and falling asset prices. But it still expects the global economy to grow 3.4% this year and 3.7% the year after. That doesn’t seem too bad, at all.

Singapore banks posted a reasonably solid set of annual numbers. In particular, DBS Group (SGX: D05) said fourth-quarter net profit jumped 20% to S$1 billion. Net profit for the full year was 10% higher at S$4.05 billion.

Meanwhile, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (SGX: O39) said bottom-line profits for the full year grew 13%, while United Overseas Bank (SGX: U11) said full-year earnings slipped 1.2%.

Experts expect China’s national debt burden to climb relative to the size of its economy. Currently, China’s debt to GDP is around 40%. But this could rise to around 283% of GDP by 2020. That could put it on par with Japan, which currently has a debt-to-DGP ratio of 230%.

Sterling has gone from a safe-haven currency to a safe bet for going lower. The UK currency has been hampered by worries that the country may leave the European Union following a referendum on 23 June. In June last year, £1 could have bought nearly US$1.60. Today, the same pound would fetch less than US$1.40.

And finally, Donald Trump was once a rank outsider to win the Republican nomination for the US Presidency. His odds of winning were as low as 200 to one. But not anymore. The odds have tightened after the billionaire won the Nevada caucuses. His odds of being the Republican candidate for Presidency are now 1/2.

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