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Singapore's DBS Group Holdings and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp as well as Swiss bank, Julius Baer have submitted non-binding bids for Barclays' Asian private wealth business, people familiar with the matter said.
The possibility of Singapore's central bank easing monetary policy at its scheduled policy review in April is rising, analysts say, as weak economic data points to a worsening outlook for growth.
A strong technical support is seen for Singapore's blue-chip Straits Times Index (STI) at 2,540-2,550. A break of this support could see a test of 2,521.95, a level last seen in October 2011, Bernard Aw, market strategist at IG, said.
The head of Singapore's biggest phone company said she's concerned the entry of a new operator will drive the focus of the competition to just price and will hurt the industry.
Bank Central Asia, controlled by Indonesia's second-richest person, Budi Hartono, overtook DBS Group Holdings Ltd this month as Southeast Asia's largest lender by value, with a market capitalisation of US$24.5 billion.
Asian stocks extended the selloff that sent global equities into a bear market, with the regional benchmark index heading for its lowest close since 2012, as Japanese shares tumbled to cap their worst week since the financial crisis.
The STI Today
Japan slashed its interest rates into negative territory and instead of the yen weakening and the stock market rising, the reverse has occurred - Japanese equities have collapsed and according to pundits, the yen has perversely become a safe haven.