Singapore shares closed by a hair's breath in positive territory as bargain hunters managed to overcome market bears that had sent the bourse down 0.8 per cent at the opening bell on Wednesday.
DBS Bank had launched a service that enables SME owners to apply for up to 11 types of loan products online, with no signatures required. The service covers business loans, overdrafts, micro loans, property loans, equipment loans, vehicle financing, foreign exchange, import & export lines, factoring and even business credit cards.
Genting Singapore shares sank on Wednesday morning after the operator of Resorts World Sentosa said it expects a "significant" fall in net profit for the second quarter. In a statement to the Singapore Exchange on Tuesday, Genting blamed the expected fall in earnings to derivative losses as a result of unfavourable market conditions and unrealised foreign exchange translation losses.
Singapore's private sector expanded for the second straight month in July although the rate of growth remained modest overall, a survey from Nikkei and Markit Economics showed on Wednesday. The headline Nikkei purchasing managers' index, or PMI, for the private sector rose slightly to 51.3 in July from 51.1 in June. Any reading above 50.0 signals expansion.
Oil palm company Wilmar International reported improved earnings for the three-months to June 30, due to a stronger contribution from the oilseeds and grains business. Net profit for the period was up 18.2 per cent year-on-year to US$201.8 million (S$278.1 million) for the period, while core net profit - excluding non-operating items - rose 18.8 per cent to US$193.6 million.
Standard Chartered halved its dividend and said it would raise capital externally if necessary as its new chief Executive Bill Winters outlined early plans to boost shareholder returns and rebuild capital after a 44 per cent slump in profits.
Indonesia's economic growth in the second quarter dropped to its slowest since 2009, with prices for commodity and energy exports remaining weak and President Joko Widodo unable to push badly needed infrastructure projects past bureaucratic snarls.
Thailand's central bank on Wednesday left its already-low benchmark interest rate steady again, signalling its belief that the weakening baht can aid exports and economic recovery better than a rate cut can. The Bank of Thailand said its 2015 growth forecast of 3.0 per cent is being lowered again, due to poor exports, but said it won't give the new one until Sept. 25.