HONG KONG -- While the tech sector is facing turbulence, Asian bank earnings are on an upswing. The standouts are Singaporean lenders -- DBS Group Holdings, United Overseas Bank (UOB) and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. (OCBC) -- all of which have recently recorded double-digit growth in net profits.
On top of the rising interest rates that have improved profits for many of their peers in the region, Singaporean banks enjoyed a special boost from the stronger oil market. Oil and gas drilling industries are a key sector for the city-state's economy, so local lenders' fortunes are closely tied to fluctuations in the market. During the oil slump that began in 2014, the banks faced substantial pressure on their loan books.