facebook(Stocks Discussion) SGX: DBS Group Holdings Ltd (SGX: D05)? - Seedly



04 May 2021


(Stocks Discussion) SGX: DBS Group Holdings Ltd (SGX: D05)?

Discuss anything about share price, dividends, yield, ratios, fundamentals, technical analysis and if you would buy or sell this stock on the SGX Singapore markets. Do take note that the answers given by our members are just your opinions, so please do your own due diligence before making an investment!


Discussion (10)

What are your thoughts?

We were welcomed at the venue, with their annual report screaming it is the Best Bank in the World.

DBS (or rather, POSB) was the first bank account that I opened. And now, DBS is the first AGM that I attended. Definitely an interesting first experience! Some key takeaways:

1. Overview on Top line and Bottom line

DBS Chairman Peter Seah started off by giving an introduction, and then moved on to CEO Piyush Gupta giving an overview of their 2018 performance. Long story short: DBS’ performance is great in 2018, with total income rising 11% and profits rising 28% from previous year. Sounds good.

2. Dividend

With a total of $1.20 dividend in 2018, they were asked whether the dividend yield is sustainable. The answer given by Mr Gupta was that they are more focused on the absolute dividend amount rather than yield – and they claim that with their performance, absolute dividend is sustainable.

3. Some more numbers

Currently trading at a price of $27.25 (at close on 25 April 2019), many analysts are giving it a target price of around $29. Comparing to its industry peers OCBC and UOB, DBS has high ROE (12.1%). But P/E and P/B ratios are slightly higher as well.

Source: PhillipCapital

4. Management expertise

I guess something fun to look at can be the management expertise. Peter Seah has been on the board since 2009, and assumed the role as the chairman from 2010. Piyush Gupta has been the CEO of DBS since 2009. Under them, DBS has been performing well and growing pretty steadily. They also said they will focus on hiring talents, who can provide internal job mobility.

With the rise in cybersecurity risks, it is definitely an important risk to manage especially for a bank. It’s a relief that cybersecurity risk management is being highlighted by the CRO in the annual report, of course alongside other risks.

5. Moving forward…

Geopolitical environment

They are scaling their growth in markets like China and Indonesia. There was a question on the exposure in the China market. Mr Seah came in and said that Mr Gupta and himself actually oversees the China market. Mr Gupta then mentioned that IMF lowered the expected global GDP twice this year already – I guess as expected, in 2019, we can only say there will still be a lot of macroeconomic uncertainty.

Experimentation and innovation

DBS said they will place greater focus on working with startups eg. Go Jek and Carousell

Going digital

This is something that they emphasised a lot during the AGM, and they were named the world’s best digital bank. Noting DBS Paylah, they said 2019 will see DBS focusing more on fintech and going digital.

Performance seems to be pretty good. There was no lack of questions at the AGM, with people running to the mics consistently. Overall, cool AGM, free food and free book (annual report)!



Thad and Tracy's first AGM experience...

For both Thad and Tracy, this was their first AGM experience! It was also the first time we had so many people attending an AGM together :)


DBS’ AGM was definitely the AGM with the nicest setting since it was located at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre. Most of the attendees were old folks, but today’s setting definitely had younger attendees as well which asked very pointed questions (more on that later). Interestingly, they left the food to the end of the AGM, which was a chicken wrap. I suppose they reluctantly have this food segment just to appease the attendees who go there for the food.

And now to “business”...

Business Profile

I’m sure everyone has heard of DBS before, being one of the most prominent banks in Asia and I suppose many of us have bank accounts with them as well. They are a commercial bank headquartered and listed in SIngapore, and they provide a full range of services in consumer banking, wealth management and institutional banking.

Income Streams

By Geography

Source: DBS Group Ltd Annual Report 2018

Overall, total income had increased by 11% Year-On-Year to 13bn in 2018. As can be seen the majority of the income still resides from the Singapore market (61%). However, this proportion is decreasing over time, as more income is starting to be derived from international markets. The segment which experienced the most YOY growth was actually Hong Kong (23% increase) and the Rest of Greater China (31% increase).

Net profit as a whole also grew quite a fair bit by 28% to 5.6bn. The highest growth driver was still the Singapore market, but again, Hong Kong and Greater China regions experienced significant growth for this portion too.

By Segment

Institutional Banking

Source: DBS Group Ltd Annual Report 2018

Commercial / Wealth Management

Source: DBS Group Ltd Annual Report 2018

With both institutional banking and consumer banking / wealth management raking in almost equal levels of income, this diversification might help to prevent over-reliance on a certain sector. However Institutional Banking seems to be more profitable than the consumer banking segment based on profit before tax.

In fact, institutional banking had achieved a YOY growth of almost 3 times as compared to 2017, while consumer banking had achieved a growth of 23%. Hence, for 2018, institutional banking seemed to be the one driving more growth for DBS.

Distributable Value

Source: DBS Group Ltd Annual Report 2018

With the strong growth achieved in 2018, I think many people were wondering about how the bank had distributed their value created. In 2018, a total of $7.52bn in distributable financial value was achieved.

This was significantly higher than the value of $5.92bn achieved in 2017. It is at least heartening to see that almost 60% of such value, were distributed on shareholders, which led to the relatively high dividends that were paid out last year.

Interesting Questions Asked

“Can dividends be sustained?”

Source: DBS Group Ltd Annual Report 2018

More specifically, the shareholder wanted to know if the payout ratio of 0.55 was sustainable or not. I believe that this question was on the minds of many shareholders as well. When posed this question, CEO Piyush Gupta mentioned that such dividends could be sustained, and might even go up in the future, depending on how the bank performs. He mentioned that you can’t just look at the payout ratio, but that you need to look at the absolute dividend amount as well, and compare that to the performance of the bank overall.

“What about the environmental impact in Indonesia?”

There was a question asked on how certain financing in Indonesia could lead to long-term environmental issues. The lady who asked this question seemed to be some environmental activist who went back and forth with CEO Gupta for quite a bit.

Mr Gupta’s response was that the bank had already been focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for some time, and that a balance approach is needed, although such a balance is hard to achieve. He also mentioned that there was an energy gap in Indonesia, and so such needs had to be fulfilled as well. However, he did mention that the bank will not perform coal financing anymore.

“How would business in China be conducted?”

Mr Gupta mentioned that the bulk of the business in China is offshore, in the sense that a lot of the business there were more on international rather than domestic transactions. He felt that DBS couldn’t compete domestically with their local banks. However, he did mention that was a lot of stress testing done on their portfolio there to ensure that the portfolio there had high quality.

“Outlook for 2019?”

Mr Gupta mentioned that global GDP for this year will slow due, as seen by how the IMF had downgraded global GDP growth twice, which he explained, was one of the reasons why the federal interest rates were not lowered. He was however, optimistic that despite lower growth in Asia, growth rates would still be fairly strong. Also, some of the impact of last year’s higher interest rates would flow into this year’s book as well. The easing of geo-polictical tensions and a potential trade deal between the US and China could also help to normalise performance.



Billy Ko

Billy Ko

07 Jun 2019

Level 11·Financial Analyst at REPE Firm

I too attended the AGM of DBS and here were my takeaways (experience / questions-wise)

To attend a...

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