Daily Morning Note – 12 March 2021
Futures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes rose Thursday evening just hours after the S&P 500 closed at a record high and President Joe Biden signed landmark stimulus legislation. Dow futures added 80 points and suggested a gain of a similar magnitude when regular trading resumes on Friday. Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 futures both added about 0.25%.
U.S. stocks climbed to record highs during Thursday’s regular session as a rebound in tech shares resumed and Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package became law. The S&P 500 jumped 1% and hit a new closing high, surpassing its previous record from Feb. 16.
Unitholders of Soilbuild Business Space Reit (Soilbuild Reit) (SGX: SV3U) have voted in favour of the proposed privatisation offer from Blackstone Real Estate and Lim Chap Huat, the executive chairman of the real estate investment trust’s (Reit) sponsor Soilbuild Group. The proposed offer is via a trust scheme of arrangement. This means the outcome is determined by minorities as Mr Lim and his concert parties abstained from voting.
The Chinese real estate company acquired by Singapore’s richest property family is accusing its buyer of holding up decisions following a missed debt payment, underscoring the challenges for foreign companies making acquisitions in the world’s second-largest economy. Chongqing Sincere Yuanchuang Industrial said its parent City Developments Limited (CDL) (SGX:C09) delayed decision making, stalling opportunities to raise funds and improve cash flow, according to a statement posted on Sincere’s website.
DairyFarm International (SGX: D01) on Thursday reported a full-year net profit of US$271 million, a fall of 16 per cent from a year ago, even as total sales increased 2 per cent to US$28.2 billion. For the year ended Dec 31, 2020, the group said it recorded strong growth in operating profit for its grocery retail segment and Ikea, but this was offset by lower profits for the health and beauty as well as convenience businesses.
Aztech Global received applications from retail investors for 18.4 times the number of shares available in the public portion of its initial public offering (IPO), it announced on Thursday. With 3.5 million shares available to the public for subscription, it received 4,143 valid applications for about 64.42 million shares, with application monies received amounting to some S$82.5 million. Additionally, the company, which is in the business of the Internet of Things (IOT) and data communication, received indications of interest for about 1.06 billion placement shares, of the 64.62 million available. This results in its placement shares being some 16.4 times subscribed.
Jardine Matheson Holdings (JMH) (SGX:J36) on Thursday reported a full-year net loss of US$394 million, reversing from a net profit of US$2.84 billion a year ago, largely due to weaker performances by Astra and Jardine Cycle & Carriage (SGX: C07), as well as decreases in property valuations. Without the decreases in property valuations totalling some US$1.4 billion, the group would have recorded a US$1.09 billion net profit for the year ended Dec 31, 2020, 32 per cent lower than the year ago. Astra, one of JMH’s largest profit contributors, recorded full-year net profit of 16.2 trillion rupiah (S$1.47 billion) which is 26 per cent lower than that for FY2019. Excluding a one-off gain from the sale of the group’s investment in Permata Bank, net profit would have decreased 53 per cent year on year to 10.3 trillion rupiah.
US businessman Warren Buffett on Wednesday joined the small circle of executives worth more than US$100 billion, which also includes Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bernard Arnault and Bill Gates, Forbes magazine reported. The share price of his company Berkshire Hathaway reached a record level Wednesday, pushing his fortune to US$100.3 billion – the first time that his net worth has crossed the US$100 billion threshold.
President Joe Biden is set to announce that he will direct states to make all adults eligible for the Covid vaccines by May 1. Biden in his first primetime address to the nation is also expected to say that Americans should be able to gather in small groups to celebrate the Fourth of July. The speech comes hours after Biden signed into law the $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill, which he had strongly pushed during his first 50 days in office.
Apple (US: APPL) sued a former employee in federal court in California on Thursday alleging that he passed trade secrets about unannounced products to a member of the media. Apple did not name the media correspondent nor the details that Lancaster allegedly leaked. While all technology firms closely guard intellectual property, Apple’s culture deeply emphasizes it and the company has developed a need-to-know system called “disclosure” where often employees on a project don’t have knowledge of other parts of the project to prevent leaks.
The European Union on Thursday authorized the use of the one-dose coronavirus vaccine created by Johnson & Johnson (US: JNJ), adding another weapon in the armory being used to fight Covid-19. Europe’s drug regulator gave its recommendation earlier on Thursday with the EU Commission giving formal approval later in the day. The vaccine has the added benefit of only requiring a single dose and can be stored in most standard refrigerators at temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (or roughly 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit), making it easier and cheaper to transport and store.
Source: SGX Masnet, The Business Times, Bloomberg, Channel NewsAsia, Reuters, PSR
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