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Feb 23, 2012

UOB Q4 net falls 21 pct, optimistic on outlook

SINGAPORE, Feb 23 (Reuters) – United Overseas Bank Ltd
, the smallest of Singapore’s three banking groups,
reported a 21 percent fall in quarterly profit due to lack of
one-off gains and as it booked losses on its European debt
exposure.

The bank however remains confident on its prospects.

“Asia continues to show resilience in the face of ongoing
uncertainty from the West. And we remain optimistic this
resilience will continue,” UOB CEO Wee Ee Cheong said in a
statement on Thursday.

Feb 17, 2012

Singapore aims to stem rise in foreign workers, help poor

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore on Friday said it will spend billions of dollars more in areas such as healthcare and public transport but companies hoping to tap opportunities in some areas will have to do so with fewer foreign workers.

“Our increasing dependence on foreign workers is not sustainable,” Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman said in his budget speech for the fiscal year beginning April 1.

Feb 13, 2012

SingTel profit misses view, but outlook soothes

SINGAPORE, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Singapore
Telecommunications Ltd (SingTel), Southeast Asia’s
biggest phone company, posted on Monday a fourth consecutive
fall in quarterly profit, hurt by weak results at home and in
India due to higher costs.

But SingTel comforted investors by reiterating a forecast
for low single-digit full-year revenue growth in the city-state
and stable dividends from its associate firms. Its shares were
up 1.3 percent in late morning trade, beating the broader stock
market’s 0.4 percent rise.

Feb 12, 2012

SingTel keeps outlook, profit worse than expected

SINGAPORE, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Singapore
Telecommunications Ltd (SingTel) posted a fourth
consecutive fall in quarterly profit on Monday, hurt by weakness
in Singapore and India, but it reiterated a forecast for low
single-digit annual revenue growth in the city-state and stable
dividends from its associate firms.

SingTel, Southeast Asia’s largest telecom firm, reported a
net profit of S$902 million ($716 million) for the quarter ended
December, down 9.6 percent from S$998 million a year ago.

Feb 6, 2012

Singapore faces growing pains as setbacks pile up

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Senior officials arrested in a corruption investigation. Subway commuters trapped underground without light or proper ventilation. Flooded roads in the financial district.

It may sound like Indonesia or perhaps the Philippines, but this is Singapore — the wealthy island state that has long been the envy of those neighbours for its ruthless efficiency, clean government and high standard of living.

Feb 5, 2012

Analysis: Singapore faces growing pains as setbacks pile up

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Senior officials arrested in a corruption investigation. Subway commuters trapped underground without light or proper ventilation. Flooded roads in the financial district.

It may sound like Indonesia or perhaps the Philippines, but this is Singapore — the wealthy island state that has long been the envy of those neighbours for its ruthless efficiency, clean government and high standard of living.

Feb 2, 2012

Moody’s sees negative ratings trend for Asian firms

SINGAPORE, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Defaults by Asian
companies are likely to rise this year as the economic
environment deteriorates and credit becomes tighter with
European lenders reducing their exposure to the region, ratings
agency Moody’s Investors Service said on Thursday.

“Asian sectors most vulnerable to adverse policy tightening,
cyclicality, and excess capacity include Chinese property
developers, as well as the refining and marketing, technology
and semiconductor sectors,” Moody’s said in a report.

Jan 17, 2012

EFSF’s Regling says no impact from S&P downgrade

SINGAPORE, Jan 17 (Reuters) – The head of Europe’s
bailout fund said on Tuesday that Standard & Poor’s downgrade
would have little impact on operations and expressed confidence
that investors around the world will keep buying the fund’s
bonds.

“As long as it is only one rating agency there is no need to
do anything really,” Klaus Regling, who runs the European
Financial Stability Facility, told reporters during a trip to
Singapore to meet investors.

Jan 16, 2012

Tread carefully in Chinese art market, experts say

SINGAPORE, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Investors should not
indiscriminately buy pieces by popular contemporary Chinese
artists since commercial success has made some complacent and
later paintings and sculpture may lack the originality of
earlier work, art advisers warn.

Asia’s wealthy have showed increased interest in art in
recent years, pushing up prices and sparking concerns of a
bubble — particularly in the market for contemporary Chinese
art as the country rises as an economic and political power.

Jan 5, 2012

RBI says interest rates have peaked as inflation slows

SINGAPORE/NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Interest rates in India have peaked, a deputy governor of the RBI said on Thursday, as data showed the food price index dropped for the first time in nearly six years.

Subir Gokarn, who handles monetary policy at the Reserve Bank of India, said that economic growth concerns are back on “center stage”, suggesting that the slowing economy was weighing more on the RBI’s mind as the inflation threat recedes.