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ASEAN banks prepare for flood of bad loans amid coronavirus havoc

DBS and Siam Commercial ramp up provisions as economic outlook deteriorates

Banks in Southeast Asia are wary of business closures and bankruptcies as the spread of the coronavirus causes economies to stagnate.

SINGAPORE -- Across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, banks are bracing for a tide of nonperforming loans as the coronavirus pandemic rattles companies' cash flows and creates difficulties in repaying debt.

Singapore-based Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. on Friday said its net profit for the first quarter ended March tumbled 43% year-on-year to 698 million Singapore dollars ($495 million), as it increased its total allowances by 165% to SG$657 million from SG$249 million a year earlier due to oil and gas exposure and worsening economic conditions.

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