DAILY MORNING NOTE | 11 October 2023

Local shares closed Tuesday (Oct 10) with a solid rally, as investors around the world took to equity markets with renewed optimism after the initial shocks of the Israeli conflict. DBS was the top gainer – up 1.2 per cent or S$0.39 at S$33.97. The other two lenders were also among the biggest gainers for the day. UOB rose 1 per cent or S$0.29 to S$28.56, while OCBC gained 0.9 per cent or S$0.12 to S$13.00. Nio was the biggest loser for the day, shedding 1.1 per cent or US$0.09 to US$8.49. Venture Corporation was another notable decliner, falling 0.6 per cent or S$0.07 to S$12.27.

Wall Street stocks notched a third straight day of gains on Tuesday as bond yields eased from recent highs, while markets monitored risks from the Israel-Hamas war. The closely watched 10-year US Treasury note yield, which is used to price loans and mortgages, fell further on hints from Federal Reserve officials that they may be done hiking interest rates. Elevated long-term interest rates could mean there is “less need” for another rate hike, Dallas Fed President Lorie Logan said Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day up 0.4 per cent at 33,739.30. The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.5 per cent to close at 4,358.24, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.6 per cent to 13,562.84.

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SG

The closing date for the offer to acquire and delist Healthway Medical has been extended to 5.30pm on Oct 26. As at 6pm on Tuesday (Oct 10), OUE Healthcare and its concert parties had a resultant shareholding of about 65.3 per cent of the total number of Healthway Medical shares. The exit offer price remains at 4.8 cents per share and the offeror – OUEH Investments, the special-purpose vehicle incorporated for the purpose of the exit offer – does not intend to revise it “under any circumstances”. On Tueday, OUEH Investments reminded shareholders that the offer for Healthway Medical was declared unconditional in all respects on Sep 28, and that the company would be delisted subject to the approval of the Singapore Exchange, regardless of the level of acceptances of the exit offer.

US credit rating agency Equifax is now the anchor tenant for Keppel real estate investment trust’s (Reit) new Blue & William office development located in North Sydney, its manager said on Tuesday (Oct 10). Equifax occupies more than 4,350 square metres across the fifth and seventh levels of the property, which is a third of the building’s net lettable area. It moved from two separate offices in the North Sydney area. The manager noted that almost half of Blue & William’s office space has been leased. Other tenants include Northbrew Cafe and global consulting firm Human Synergistics, which will move in early next year. Keppel Reit acquired Blue & William in December 2021. The 10-storey development is located at the intersection of Blue Street and William Street. Lendlease is the development and investment manager.

Restaurant operator No Signboard Holdings’ board has appointed Lim Teck-Ean as interim chief executive officer to oversee the group’s strategic direction, corporate development and investor relations. The current executive chairman and chief executive, Sam Lim, faces charges of share price rigging under the Securities and Futures Act. If convicted, he may be jailed for up to seven years or fined up to S$250,000, or both. On Tuesday (Oct 10), No Signboard said: “The board of directors reviewed and considered Lim Teck-Ean’s qualifications, working experience, capabilities and ability to contribute to the company and other relevant factors.” Lim Teck-Ean will also be designated executive director of the company. Prior to his appointment, the 48-year-old was one of the beneficial owners of Gazelle Ventures, an entity which had invested in No Signboard. Gazelle is expected to hold 75 per cent shareholding interest in the enlarged share capital of No Signboard upon completion of the investment. Lim has since stepped down as CEO of Gazelle.

US

Boeing deliveries of its best-selling 737 MAX fell to the lowest level since August 2021, as it continues to struggle with work needed to correct a manufacturing defect. The largest US planemaker said on Tuesday (Oct 10) overall deliveries fell to 27 in September, including 15 Boeing MAX 8 and 9 airplanes, the fourth-lowest month of MAX deliveries since deliveries resumed in December 2020 after a worldwide grounding following two MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people. Boeing is undergoing an extensive process used to inspect and fix thousands of misdrilled holes on the 737 MAX 8 aft pressure bulkhead. The planemaker booked new orders in September for 224 planes and reported 10 cancellations. The new orders include 50 787s for United Airlines. Overall, Boeing has handed over 371 planes to customers during the first nine months of 2023, including 286 737s. By comparison, European rival Airbus has delivered 488 aircraft over the first eight months, including 55 in September.

AMD said on Tuesday (Oct 10) it plans to buy an artificial intelligence startup called Nod.ai as part of an effort to bolster its software capabilities. In its race to catch rival chipmaker Nvidia, Advanced Micro Devices plans to invest heavily in the critical software necessary for the company’s advanced AI chips. Through more than a decade of work, Nvidia has built a powerful advantage in the AI chip market through the software it makes, and the software developer ecosystem. AMD has vowed to invest in and build a unified collection of software to power the various chips the company makes. The acquisition of Nod.ai fits into the strategy because its technology enables companies to deploy AI models that are tuned for AMD’s chips more easily. Nod.ai sells its technology to large data centre operators, among other customers. AMD did not disclose the terms of the deal.

Adobe on Tuesday (Oct 10) said it is rolling out new image-generation technology that can draw inspiration from an uploaded image and match its style, in its latest push to compete with startups challenging its core business. Image-generating technology from firms like Midjourney and Stable Diffusion have threatened Adobe’s customer base of creative professionals who use its tools like Photoshop. Adobe, which has promised its customers that generated images will be safe from legal challenges, said those customers have used the tools to generate three billion images, a billion of them in the last month alone. The new generation of tools announced on Tuesday will include a feature called “Generative Match”. Like Adobe’s earlier tool, it will allow users to generate an image from a few words of text. But it will also allow users to upload as few as 10 to 20 images to use as a basis for the generated images.

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


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