The Week Ahead: UOB And OCBC Under The Spotlight

Another crop of Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) companies will open their books next week. Pick of the crop are two Singapore-listed banks, namely United Overseas Bank (SGX: U11) and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (SGX: O39).

Last time out, UOB posted a 4.4% fall in first-quarter profits. The bank benefitted from a better Net Interest Margin but the bottom line was affected by a fall in fees and a slight increase in provisions for bad debts.

OCBC also fared poorly when it reported numbers for the first three months of the year. Net profit was lower. The bank had to set aside higher provisions for as a result of stresses in the oil & gas support services sector.

Other companies that are set to report include SIA Engineering (SGX: S59), Singapore Airlines (SGX: C6L) and Sembcorp Marine (SGX: S51).

Also on tap will be Hutchison Port Holdings (SGX: NS8U), Hongkong Land (SGX: H78), Jardine Cycle & Carriage (SGX: C07) and Singapore Exchange (SGX: S68), which suffered a hardware and software glitch earlier this month.

The health of the corporate America will be on display when Apple,, Boeing, Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Ford, McDonald’s.  

On the economic front, the US Federal Reserve will announce its latest interest rate decision on Thursday. It’s almost a case of now or not at all because Janet Yellen is rapidly running out of excuses not to increase the cost of borrowing. Brexit has come and gone, the US labour market appears robust, while American core inflation is running at 2.3%.

At the talking shop known as the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting, a lot will be said but little will be done.

And finally, Singapore will report inflation numbers for June. It could be the 20th straight month of falling consumer prices, as falling housing costs and lower utility bills pull down the cost of living. Core inflation, however, could continue to creep higher. It stood at 1% last month.

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