Daily Morning Note – 1 July 2021


Wall Street stocks put in a strong performance in the first half of 2021, ending on a mostly upbeat note on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 posting its fifth straight record even as the Nasdaq joined European bourses in moving lower. Investors have cheered as the global economy edges back to life with coronavirus vaccines becoming more widespread, even as new Covid-19 variants continue to pose risks. The broad-based S&P 500 climbed 0.1 per cent to 4,297.50, lifting the gain for the second quarter to more than eight per cent. And investor enthusiasm has sent the index up more than 14 per cent since the start of the year.


SG News

Shareholders of MC Payment showed their support for controlling shareholder Ching Chiat Kwong and passed resolutions to appoint five new directors to the company’s board during an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on Wednesday. Following the results, most of MC Payments’ current directors, including chief executive Anthony Koh, resigned from the board of directors of the digital-payments company effective Wednesday, the company said in an exchange filing. The EGM on Wednesday was requisitioned by Mr Ching, who has said that he has lost confidence in the current board of MC Payment.

Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) has reprimanded the former chief executive officer (CEO) and former executive director of Trek 2000 International for breaches of the listing rules. Singapore-listed companies are advised to consult SGX RegCo before appointing former executive chairman and CEO Henn Tan and former executive director Poo Teng Pin as directors or executive officers. The decision was made following an inquiry and review of the company’s past transactions, conducted by RSM Corporate Advisory. The review concluded that agreements entered into by Trek 2000 with T-Data Systems (S) and S-Com Solutions (Hong Kong) were interested person transactions (IPTs).

Credit Bureau (Singapore) (CBS), a subsidiary of mainboard-listed Credit Bureau Asia (CBA), has been designated as the new operator of the Moneylenders Credit Bureau (MLCB), CBA said on Wednesday. The designation was awarded to CBS by the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) after a “competitive tender process” and will commence on July 1. Existing services for licensed moneylenders and borrowers will not be affected, CBA noted.

A Wholly owned subsidiary of property developer Oxley has entered into an agreement to sell a piece of its land overseas for around S$100 million, it said on Wednesday in a stock exchange filing. The property has a book value of around S$60 million, based on the group’s financial statements for the financial year ended June 30, 2020, and the proceeds of the sale will “contribute positively to the cash flow of the group”, it said. The group did not specify which property it was selling, nor the buyer.

Singapore’s wealth fund GIC agreed to invest around US$1 billion dollars in Biomat, a US-based plasma collection company owned by Grifols, thus becoming a strategic investor in the Spanish pharmaceutical company, Grifols said on Wednesday. GIC will have a minority stake in Biomat USA, which has a network of 296 plasma collection centres in the United States through the acquisition of newly issued non-voting shares.

US News

Oil prose on Wednesday, heading for monthly and quarterly gains, after US crude stockpiles fell for a sixth straight week and an Opec report foresaw an undersupplied market this year. The Brent crude contract for August, which expired on Wednesday, ended the session up 37 cents, or 0.5 per cent at US$75.13 a barrel. The September contract rose 34 cents to settle at US$74.62 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) settled up 49 cents, or 0.7 per cent at US$73.47 a barrel.

Short-form video app TikTok said on Wednesday it had removed nearly 62 million videos from its platform during the first three months of the year for violating its guidelines, as it seeks to address security- and privacy-related concerns. These videos accounted for less than 1 per cent of the total posted on the platform and fell under categories such as “Adult nudity and sexual activities, harassment and bullying and hateful behavior,” the company said in a reportreleased on its website.

Microsoft and Google, tech giants that compete in cloud computing, web search and artificial intelligence, five years ago formally agreed to cease using their substantial lobbying firepower against each other, seeking to eliminate a pricey and distracting battle and clear the way to collaborate more. That truce, forged at the time by two new CEOs wanting a fresh start on a formerly acrimonious relationship, expired in April. Even before the deal was allowed to lapse, the non-aggression pact had been fraying.

Shares of Chinese ride hailing giant Didi Chuxing rocketed higher Wednesday in its first trading session after raising US$4.4 billion in an initial public offering. Near 1730 GMT, shares of Didi were up 14.3 per cent at US$16, well above the US$14 IPO price and giving the company a valuation of around US$77 billion. Didi Chuxing – which claims to have more than 15 million drivers and nearly 500 million users – is often the easiest and quickest way to call a ride in crowded Chinese cities.

US-based drone operator Zipline, which has seen pandemic-fueled growth of delivery of vaccines and medical supplies in Africa and the United States, said Wednesday it raised US$250 million as it moves to expand globally. The latest round valued the California-based startup at US$2.75 billion and will be used to fund “expansion into new industries and geographies” including “instant” e-commerce, the company said in a statement.

Source: SGX Masnet, The Business Times, Bloomberg, Channel NewsAsia, Reuters, CNBC, PSR

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