Morning business news round-up for July 8, 2014

SINGAPORE - Catch up on the morning's top business headlines in Singapore with The Straits Times Money Desk's daily update.

1. Moody's retains negative outlook on Singapore's banking system. The ratings agency expects that a surge in lending by Singapore banks in recent years will raise the risk of problem loans when interest rates rise.

2. The Ascott secures deals for 2 more serviced residences in Saudi Arabia. The new deals would bring the number of properties it manages in Saudi Arabia to five, with nearly 700 apartment units in all.

3. Asian shares pause after recent climb, focus on earnings. Investors could also be forgiven for feeling a touch of altitude sickness after many indexes recently hit all-time or multi-year peaks.

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