Singapore banks navigate Asean jigsaw

The city-state’s biggest lenders are approaching regional economic integration on the back of soaring profits.

Singapore’s biggest banks are grasping Asean economic integration with gusto as a growth opportunity.

The formation of the Asean Economic Community, expected by the end 2015, will remove restrictions on trade, investments, capital and people flows, providing opportunities for the region’s lenders.

DBS, Overseas-Chinese Banking Corp and United Overseas Bank the Lion City’s three biggest banks are better positioned than most, posting the biggest profit of Asean’s 100 largest banks in 2014, according to FactSet.

However, China’s economic slowdown muddies the picture and growth at home is slowing. China’s growth slowed to 7.4% last year from 7.7% in 2013, while Singapore’s economy...

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