Singapore banks lent out slightly less money in January. Total lending was S$617.1 billion compared to S$617.3 billion in the previous month. But on a year-on-year basis, total loans grew 2.8%. The slight dip in lending has been attributed to fewer working days, as a result of the Chinese New Year break. We’ll find out how true that is, when the figures for February are announced.
Olam International (SGX: O32) is back in profit again. The commodities trader made a net profit of S$102.2 million, thanks to a strong performance from beverage ingredients, food staples and packaged foods. Profits from cocoa and coffee nearly doubled, while profits from food staples and packaged foods rose 56%. We all need to eat.
It will cost more to use KrisFlyer miles to redeem flights from 23 March. Singapore Airlines (SGX: C6L) said that this is to keep flight rewards sustainable yet competitive. According to the Straits Times, a one-way “Saver Award” Business Class ticket from Singapore to Sydney that costs 55,000 miles will cost 58,000 miles. Back door inflation.
The US dollar hit a seven-week high on hopes that the Fed will lift interest rates this week. The greenback climbed 1% to 113.8 yen and 0.5% against the euro. New York Fed president, William Dudley, said the case for tightening monetary policy has become a lot more compelling. The president of San Francisco Fed, John Williams, said a rate increase in March was very much on the table.
And finally, more than 30 bald men gathered at Tsuruta City in Japan to celebrate baldness. They took turns to complete by stocking a suction cup, which is attached to a single red rope, to each of their heads. Both sides then try to pull the cup off their opponents head.
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