Singapore, Jan 2: India and Indonesia will be the Development Bank of Singapore's "big" areas of focus for this year, its chief executive officer Piyush Gupta has said. DBS leads foreign banks with expansion plans in India.
"We also remain focused on building leading regional cash management, foreign exchange, debt markets and wealth management franchises," Gupta said here.
"So India and Indonesia will be our big areas of focus in 2017," Gupta was quoted as saying by The Strait Times.
DBS' wealth management business has quadrupled over the past six years, and now accounts for up to 13 to 14 per cent of group revenue.
"Over the next five years, we think it could get up to 20 per cent," he said in a report on Singapore banks' prospects during this year.
"The world will have to grapple with massive consequences behind technological disruption on jobs displacement, both blue-collar and white-collar workers. My own bet is that you will find a lot more entrepreneurship, or what people call the gig economy," he said.
"It is likely that there will be a new wave of redistributive economics. Governments may prove inadequate to do this entirely under their own steam, and the private sector will have to play a meaningful role," said Gupta.
DBS's top priorities for this year is to be prepared for volatility as markets will continue to be choppy. An increase in US dollar rates could also create negative impact, he added.
"Step up the pace on transformation of the bank that is re-imagine banking, and be a 22,000-person start-up," stressed Gupta.
"The third priority is to continue our steady business expansion," he said. But, he also cautioned that uncertainties over US President-elect Donald Trump's policies will be a headache for Asian strategies and could result in heightened market volatility in the short-term. At the same time, global growth is expected to remain subdued, said Gupta.
"To navigate these uncertain times, we need to remain watchful and vigilant, as well as disciplined about costs and the risks we take," he advises.