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Hot stock: Banking stocks recover from pre-earnings sell-offs

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SINGAPORE banking stocks recovered on Friday from a sell-off ahead of their earnings results on concerns over the oil and gas (O&G) sector woes and the impact on their loan provisionings.

Sentiment over the bank stocks was also slightly buoyed by comments by DBS Group chief executive officer Piyush Gupta, who said on Thursday that the bank may have been past the worst of allowances for loans to troubled O&G companies.

All three banks reported lower earnings for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2016, and higher provisions for loans to the O&G sector.

At 3.58pm, UOB and DBS were among top gainers by dollar value, with UOB up 31 cents to S$21.13 and DBS up six cents to S$18.60. OCBC was also up six cents at S$9.51.

Analysts remain downbeat on banking stocks. OCBC Investment Research has a "hold" call on UOB, RHB has a "neutral" call on DBS, while Maybank Kim Eng has a "sell" call on OCBC.

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