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Stocks to watch: banks, Tuan Sing and Starhill Reit likely in focus

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Investors are likely to focus their attention during Friday trading on banks, developers and Reits that reported their quarterly results.

INVESTORS are likely to focus their attention during Friday trading on banks, developers and Reits that reported their quarterly results.

DBS Group said on Friday that its net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2014 was at S$1.01 billion, up 17 per cent from S$862 million a year ago.

OCBC and UOB had reported their third-quarter results a day earlier.

In OCBC's case, a one-off gain from an increased stake in Bank of Ningbo, contribution from Wing Hang Bank and strong earnings lifted its third-quarter net profit by 62 per cent to S$1.23 billion.

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UOB reported a 18.7 per cent rise in net profit for the third quarter to S$866 million ,on the back of a broad-based increase in operating income.

But while DBS reported that its non-performing loan (NPL) rate remained flat at 0.9 per cent from the previous quarter - lower than the 1.2 per cent from a year ago - UOB and OCBC appeared to have dealt a bigger blow from sliding Singapore home prices, especially those of high-end residences.

UOB's housing NPLs increased in the past two consecutive quarters to S$502 million for its fiscal third quarter, due primarily to borrowers investing in a particular high-end residential project in Singapore.

OCBC Bank's housing NPL, also tied to high-end homes in Singapore, rose to S$272 million in the third quarter, up S$45 million or 20 per cent from S$227 million a year ago. The figures at end-June 2014 and end-December 2013 were S$253 million and S$217 million respectively.

On Thursday, property developer Tuan Sing Holdings also reported its third-quarter results; its net profit tripled to S$17.53 million from S$5.76 million in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 84 per cent to S$99.84 million.

Starhill Global Reit on Thursday reported a distribution per unit of 1.27 Singapore cents for its third quarter ended Sept 30, 2014; this was 5 per cent higher than its DPU of 1.21 Singapore cents a year ago.

Its net property income was 4.1 per cent higher at S$39.6 million, thanks to lower operating expenses, positive rental reversions for the Singapore portfolio and its David Jones Building in Perth, Australia.

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