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In our previous articles, An Introductory to Singapore’s Finance Companies and Singapore’s Largest Finance Company, Hong Leong Finance (SGX:S41), we spoke briefly on Finance companies in Singapore. This article will continue to shed more light on another finance company, albeit smaller in asset size.
Sing Investments & Finance Ltd (SGX: S35) – SIF is a finance company listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange in 1983 with more than 40 years of lending experience. It currently has a market capitalization of around S$205 million. Similar to Hong Leong Finance, SIF’s main business activities include taking in fixed & savings deposits from the public and provides loans & credit facilities to individuals and corporations. Such activities are governed by the Finance Companies Act and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Similar to commercial banks, finance companies such as SIF fund their loans mainly through their liability structure. SIF has a relatively stable funding source as 98% of its total liabilities (S$1.9 billion as at 30 Sep 2014) consist of deposits & saving accounts.
Total assets of the Group stood at S$2.23 billion as at 30 Sep 2014, of which S$1.66 billion accounts for loans & advances. Most of these loans are provided to the building & construction industry, hire purchase finance and individual businesses. Similar to banks, these loans tend to be collateralized against the assets of lenders. For example, personal housing loans are collateralized against mortgages over residential properties; land & construction loans are collateralized against developing properties being financed.
Lending business in Singapore is subjected to intense market competition from the top 3 local banks. Moreover, with the protracted low interest rate environment have seen lower loan yield which has compressed net interest margin (NIM) from 1.8% to 1.6% in FY2013. Profits after taxes have shrunk from S$25.7 million in FY2010 to S$11.46 million in FY2013. This is mitigated by the increase in loans volume business from S$960 million in FY2010 to S$1.55 billion in FY2013. The Group has also been able to steadily attract depositors to finance their loan book. Deposit volume grew from S$1.28 billion in FY2010 to S$1.74 billion in FY2013.
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Sing Investments & Finance is one of the 3 finance companies listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange. Low interest rates environment and a intense competition from banks which have a larger asset base have compressed the Group’s profitability .
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