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Friday, 24 October 2008

0158 GMT [Dow Jones] Singapore banks at risk of credit losses from funding
Marina Bay casino-resort as operator Las Vegas Sands under financial
distress, says UOB KayHian. Notes U.S. gaming group''s US$8.8 million loss
in 2Q08, with debt/equity ratio at 3.9X while interest cover at only 0.83X,
share price down 88.3% year-to-date. All 3 Singapore banks among total of
19 lenders involved in S$5.4 billion credit facility for casino-resort,
with all 3 acting as lead arrangers. "We understand they are still holding
the bulk of term loans allocated. The only exception could be UOB as it
participated through UOB Asia, its investment banking arm." Says UOB could
have distributed portion of its term loans to some other foreign banks.
Downgrades OCBC (O39.SG) to Hold from Buy, cuts target price to S$6.55 from
S$9.80. OCBC off 4.9% at S$5.61, DBS (D05.SG) off 6.9% at S$10.80, UOB
(U11.SG) off 4.8% at S$13.82. (FKH)

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