DBS Group Holdings Ltd vs. United Overseas Bank Ltd: Which Bank Grew Faster?

I have written two articles earlier this week pitting Singapore’s three banks against each other to see which has managed to grow its business faster over the past five years.

The first piece saw DBS Group Holdings Ltd (SGX: D05) take on Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Limited (SGX: O39). The second piece saw OCBC compete with United Overseas Bank Ltd (SGX: U11). In both cases, OCBC ended up as the faster-growing bank.

This made me curious to know if DBS or UOB would triumph in the race for second. As I had alluded to in my previous articles, Singapore’s banks are not just important to the local economy because of their size (all three have assets of over S$300 billion), they are also heavyweights in the local stock market with their multi-billion dollar market capitalisations.

The comparison of DBS and UOB will be done in a similar manner as with the earlier articles. The growth in their total income (revenue for a bank), net profit, and book value per share are the figures I’d be looking at.

I’ve already covered the two banks’ financials in my earlier pieces, but for the sake of convenience, here they are again:

DBS and UOB business results table
Source: Banks’ annual reports

To sum it up, DBS has registered faster growth in both total income and net profit. UOB though, managed to churn out a slightly higher growth rate for book value per share.

Given what we’ve seen with the three banks’ business growth, the ranking of the three banks based on their historical growth rates over the past five years from 2011 to 2015 is as follows (in descending order): OCBC, DBS, and then UOB.

While the ranking tells us how the banks have performed over the past five years, it’s worth noting that the past is not a complete reflection of the future. Investors should always think about the banks’ future prospects as well before any investing decision can be made.

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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 Esjay owns shares in DBS Group Holdings, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, and United Overseas Bank.