Daily Morning Note – 10 May 2021


U.S. equity futures edged up and Asian stocks were set for a steady start after the S&P 500 hit a record on weak jobs data that added to the case for ongoing stimulus. Gasoline and oil rose after a pipeline was closed.

Nasdaq 100 contracts outperformed though the gains were limited. Stock futures were modestly higher in Japan, dipped in Australia and climbed in Hong Kong. Gasoline jumped as much as 4.2% before paring gains, with the country’s top pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline providing no timeline for a restart following a shutdown late Friday due to a ransomware attack.

The dollar traded in tight ranges against some major peers after tumbling on Friday. The pound was the top performer among the Group of 10 currencies.


SG News

Genting Singapore, the operator of Resorts World Sentosa, on Friday posted a 26 per cent drop in net profit after tax to S$34.5 million for its first quarter ended March 31, 2021, while revenue declined 32 per cent to S$277.9 million. This was due to the Covid-19 impact which continued to weigh on its operational performance, it said, adding that its earnings decline would have been more pronounced if not for the support measures initiated by the Singapore government. Gaming revenue slid 19 per cent to S$216.9 million, while non-gaming revenue plunged 56 per cent to S$60.7 million.

Sinostar PEC Holdings on Saturday posted a significant jump in net profit to 59.3 million yuan (S$12.2 million) for the first quarter of 2021, up from 801,000 yuan a year ago on the back of a ramp-up in production volume of most products and the expansion of gross margins due to increased average selling prices of certain petrochemicals. The revenue of the mainboard-listed group, which produces and supplies downstream petrochemical products in China, increased 22.5 per cent to 960.4 million yuan compared to a year ago when the group’s operations were affected by Covid-19.

Mainboard-Listed Sarine Technologies posted a revenue of US$17.3 million in the first quarter of 2021 – its best quarter since 2014, it said in a business update on Sunday. With operational activities not at full throttle and commensurately lower expenditure, its operational profit was US$7.3 million. After beneficial tax rates, its net profit was US$6.7 million.The company, which makes equipment for diamond producers and sellers, said that its research and development, and general and administrative activities are nearly back to pre-pandemic levels. However, it is still spending some 25 per cent less on sales and marketing, as pandemic-related restrictions still hamper travel; and trade shows have not yet commenced.

Singapore banks kicked off the year with a solid quarter that beat analyst expectations on stronger fee income and lower credit costs, following a pandemic-struck 2020. Looking ahead, the trio is expecting to get a lift from the global economic recovery this year, with loan growth to pick up as business activity gains momentum, even as bank chiefs cautioned that the stellar first quarter results could be “exceptional”.

OCBC Bank is ready to fend against “very strong competition” coming up in the Greater Bay Area, and is open to M&A opportunities that may emerge from the Citi sale, said its top executive. The comments come as the bank on Friday posted a record net profit for the first quarter that more than doubled from its year-ago quarter. OCBC joined its Singapore peers in hitting a new high in fee income while making a far smaller allowance compared with the year-ago period. Net profit for the first three months ended March 31, 2021 stood at S$1.5 billion, more than doubling S$698 million in the year-ago period.

Lendlease REIT on Friday said its portfolio occupancy stood at 99.7 per cent as at March 31, down by a marginal 0.1 percentage point on year and unchanged from the previous quarter. In a Q3 business update issued on Friday, its manager said the Reit’s (real estate investment trust) portfolio’s weighted average lease expiry (WALE) for the period stood at nine years by net lettable area (NLA) and 4.6 years by gross rental income (GRI). This was down from its WALE of 9.3 years by NLA and 4.9 years by GRI as at Dec 31, 2020. The manager said it has completed about 98 per cent and 97 per cent of the expiring leases in FY2021 in terms of NLA and GRI, respectively.

US News

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla warned Friday that waiving patent protections for Covid vaccines — a proposal President Joe Biden just endorsed — would set off a worldwide race for raw materials that threatens the safe and efficient manufacturing of Covid shots. The Biden administration said Wednesday it supports the limited waiver of intellectual property rules in service of expanding vaccine distribution to the lower-income nations currently being battered by the pandemic.

Roku shares popped as much as 18.6% on Friday after the company reporting earnings that showed advertisers are increasingly moving money into streaming TV. Roku reported its highest quarterly revenue growth rate since going public, a 79% gain to $574 million in the quarter. Platform revenue in particular, which includes advertising, was $466.5 million, up 101% from a year earlier. Active accounts grew 2.4 million from the fourth quarter to reach 53.6 million.

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said Thursday the company expects more Covid-19 variants will emerge in coming months as the Southern Hemisphere enters its fall and winter seasons. Bancel, speaking to investors on a first-quarter earnings call, said people will likely need to get booster shots of its two-dose Covid-19 vaccine as the virus circulates globally.

Rising asset prices in the stock market and elsewhere are posing increasing threats to the financial system, the Federal Reserve warned in a report Thursday. In its semiannual Financial Stability Report, the central bank said that while the system overall has remained largely stable even through the Covid-19 pandemic, future dangers are rising, in particular should the aggressive run on stocks tail off. Investors have snapped up equities, corporate bonds and cryptocurrencies. They’ve poured billions into blank-check companies called SPACs, and the market has been mostly brisk for traditional initial public offerings.

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


Lendlease Global Commercial REIT – Recovery on brakes

Recommendation: ACCUMULATE (Maintained), Last Done: S$0.785

Target Price: S$0.82, Analyst: Tan Jie Hui

– 3Q21 tenant sales and mall visits recovered to 94% and 77% of 3Q20 levels. Rental reversions were less negative. Financial impact of Code of Conduct expected to be immaterial.

– Higher construction costs likely for Grange Road Carpark redevelopment. Shelved AEI for 313 to proceed in stages to ensure minimal disruptions to footfall and sales.

– Maintain ACCUMULATE and DDM target price of S$0.82 (COE 8%).

OCBC Group Holdings – End of credit crisis

Recommendation: Buy (Maintain), Last Done: S$12.56

Target price: S$14.63, Analyst: Terence Chua

– 1Q21 earnings of S$1.5bn beat our expectations by 27% on lower-than-expected credit costs and higher non-interest income.

– GPs fell to just S$9mn for a 1bp credit cost, signalling the end of the crisis.

– CET-1 rises another 30bps to 15.5% to support pre-COVID DPS of S$0.56 p.a. once dividend restrictions are lifted.

– Maintain BUY with higher GGM TP of S$14.63, up from S$13.65. FY21e earnings raised by 5.6% for higher insurance and wealth-management income and lower allowances. We peg our TP to 1.27x P/BV and 9.5% FY21e ROE to reflect a better credit outlook. Catalyst expected from lifting of the dividend cap.

UOB Group Holdings – Steady quarter

Recommendation: Accumulate (Maintain), Last Done: S$26.03

Target price: S$28.70, Analyst: Terence Chua

– 1Q21 earnings of S$1.0bn in-line, at 25.5% of our FY21e forecast boosted by stronger than expected other non-interest income but dragged by higher than expected allowances.

– NIM unchanged QoQ at 1.57%, helped by lower cost of deposits at 1Q21. Guidance for FY21e remain unchanged.

– 1Q21 credit cost declined 26bps on QoQ basis to 29bps. FY21e guidance is 30bps, down from 30-40bps previously.

– The bank is reviewing Citi’s for-sale assets in Asia Pacific. Information memorandum on sale expected later this month.

– Maintain ACCUMULATE and GGM TP (1.17x of FY21e P/BV) of S$28.70.

SG Bonds Weekly – Week 19

Credit Analyst: Timothy Ang

– Asia G3 primary market started off the month of May strong with deal volume at US$4.235bn (+19.6% WoW).

– Singapore Press Holdings announced a plan to carve out its media business into a not-for-profit entity. SPH perpetual bonds saw demand after the announcement.

– 4 outstanding mandates remain from last two weeks.

>> Read more research reports

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