Daily Morning Note – 12 July 2021


Asian stocks are set to start the week higher after U.S. equities chalked fresh records Friday in a broad-based rebound. The Australian dollar dipped in early trading as Sydney’s worsening virus cases threaten to lengthen a lockdown. Futures rose in Japan, Australia and Hong Kong. Major U.S. benchmarks ended last week at all-time highs as investors continued to bet that global growth remains on track despite new Covid-19 variants. China’s central bank cut the amount of cash most banks must hold in reserve, underpinning gains, and the government proposed new rules on companies listing overseas. Treasuries snapped an eight-session rally and the dollar dipped against major peers.


SG News

Lim Wee Li, who was last week dismissed from his CEO post at Kitchen Culture by the Catalist-listed company’s board, says he does not agree with the decision and will be exploring his options with his lawyers. In a statement emailed to The Business Times, Mr Lim said: “I understand that the company has terminated my employment as chief executive officer without notice and with immediate effect, on the alleged basis that I have caused the company to be in breach of certain regulations. I do not agree with the company’s decision.

For Singapore’s richest property family, the turnaround of City Developments Limited (CDL) is just beginning. A bungled Chinese investment has saddled the property developer with a US$1.3 billion writedown, raising questions about the extent of the damage and the fallout for top executives who supported the deal. CDL, which is majority-owned by the billionaire Kwek dynasty, is seeking to draw a line under an episode that has rattled the family business.

Payment services provider MC Payment is in the process of interviewing candidates to fill the executive positions vacated after two of its executive directors resigned in a board tussle, the Catalist-listed company said. In its response statement to the frontline market regulator Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) on Friday, MC Payment said it was negotiating the employment contracts with the candidates identified to replace chief executive cum director Anthony Koh and chief financial officer Madeline Sam.

US News

Microsoft Corp. has agreed to acquire RiskIQ, a security software maker, as the tech giant tries to expand its products and better protect customers amid a rising tide of global cyberattacks, according to people familiar with the matter. The deal will be announced as soon as the next few days, said the people, who asked not to be identified speaking about an acquisition that isn’t yet public. Microsoft will pay more than $500 million in cash for the company, one of the people said.

Sony Corp. predicts that robots will take over its manufacturing of televisions, smartphones and cameras as the company shifts attention to services, the Financial Times reported. Unmanned production lines are expected to cut costs by 70% at Sony’s mainstay TV factory in Malaysia by the fiscal year 2023, compared with 2018, the FT cited Kimio Maki, head of Sony’s electronics businesses, as saying in an interview. The acceleration of factory automation will also reduce product defects, he said.

“Black Widow” has stolen the pandemic-era box office crown. The latest Marvel film scored $80 million at the domestic box office during its debut, the most of any film released in the wake of the Covid epidemic. Over the weekend around 81% of theaters were open to the public, according to data from Comscore. Universal’s “F9” was the previous record-holder after snaring $70 million over its three-day launch into theaters last month.

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


SG Bonds Weekly – Week 28

Falling long-term interest rates

Credit Analyst: Timothy Ang

– 10yr US Treasury yields continued its downward trend to reach a four-month low of 1.33%.

– Asian investment grade issuers took advantage of lower yields to print last week.

– Xiaomi Corp sold US$1.2bn in a dual-tranche bond deal amidst increasing regulatory pressure from Beijing on technology companies.

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