Moody's lowers outlook on credit rating of 4 Singapore banks

:The DBS Group Holdings Ltd. logo is displayed atop the company's DBS Asia Hub building in Singapore, on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012.
Munshi Ahmed | Bloomberg | Getty Images
:The DBS Group Holdings Ltd. logo is displayed atop the company's DBS Asia Hub building in Singapore, on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012.

Moody's Investors Service Thursday lowered the credit rating outlook of four Singaporean financial institutions to negative from stable, citing concerns over the banks' asset quality and profitability.

The affected institutions are DBS Bank, DBS Group Holdings , Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. (OCBC) and United Overseas Bank (UOB, Moody's said in a statement.

"Moody's expects credit conditions for banks in Singapore will continue to weaken against the backdrop of slower economic and trade growth, both domestically and in the region," the rating agency said.

Still, the credit assessor noted that the Singaporean banks have very strong buffers in terms of capital, loan loss provisions and pre-provision income. The banks' funding and liquidity profiles are also robust, Moody's said, adding that there was also a "very high" probability of government support, if needed.

Moody's currently rates DBS Bank, OCBC, and UOB at Aa1, the second-highest long-term rating possible. DBS Group Holdings is rated at Aa2, a notch below the other banks.

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