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UOB expects overseas business to account for half of revenue by 2021

17 May 2019 09:00

Mr Wee at the bank's annual corporate day event. "As we sharpen our customer-centric focus, we see a greater multiplier or network effect across our franchise," he says. PHOTO: UOB

By Jamie Lee

UOB expects to have half of its revenue coming from outside Singapore by 2021, up from about 40 per cent currently, saying that the market may have underestimated the network potential from its Asean exposure.

The bank on Wednesday said it plans to capture greater connectivity flows between Asean and Greater China, especially amid mounting trade tensions between the US and China, with the bulk of its operating profit from outside Singapore already derived from operations in the Asean region and Greater China.

Return on equity (ROE) - a key measure of profitability against bank shareholders' investment - is expected to hit 13 per cent in three to five years, though trade tensions may create a "short-term disruption" to that target, UOB's group chief financial officer, Lee Wai Fai, told The Business Times at the sidelines of the bank's annual corporate day event. Its ROE reported in Q1 this year stood at 11.4 per cent.

"People have underestimated the network that we have," said Mr Lee, referring to UOB's Asean network, which remains the largest of the three Singapore banks.

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Source: Business Times

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