DAILY MORNING NOTE | 13 December 2023

**Do note that the last day of Morning Note Issuance will be on 15 December 2023. Morning Note will resume in January 2024**


Singapore shares closed higher on Tuesday (Dec 12), as markets worldwide prepared for the United States Federal Reserve’s final meeting of the year. The Index rose 0.4 per cent, or 12.11 points, to 3,102.31.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.5 per cent at 36,577.94. The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.5 per cent to 4,643.70, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 0.7 per cent to 14,533.40.


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SG

Sembcorp Industries has been awarded a 117 megawatt-peak (MWp) project to “solarise” interim vacant land and the rooftops of five buildings on Jurong Island. The agreement is between JTC and a wholly-owned Sembcorp unit, Sembcorp Solar Singapore, and is not expected to have a material impact on Sembcorp’s earnings per share and net tangible assets per share for the year ending Dec 31, 2023.

The Singapore High Court has deemed the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) called on Aug 22 by Asti Holdings’ dissenting shareholders to be invalid. It also dismissed an application filed by the requisitioning shareholders against the company and its incumbent board members to comply with resolutions approved at the said EGM, based on a court decision released on Tuesday (Dec 12).

An Asia-focused infrastructure fund has raised US$800 million from investors including funds managed by BlackRock and pension manager Alberta Investment Management, amid renewed interest in the asset class. Set up by a small Singapore-based private equity firm in 2021, Seraya Partners Fund I has closed above its US$750 million target, a statement showed on Tuesday (Dec 12).

The higher-for-longer interest rate environment is pushing major retail banks in Singapore to raise interest rates and fees on their credit cards. HSBC is the latest of seven banks in Singapore – including both local and international – to raise its credit card interest rates and fees this year. HSBC in December announced that it will raise the prevailing interest rate on its credit cards to 27.8 per cent with effect from Jan 8, 2024, from the current 26.9 per cent.


US

Astrazeneca said on Tuesday (Dec 12) it had agreed to buy respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine developer Icosavax in a deal valued at up to US$1.1 billion. Icosavax is developing a combination vaccine candidate targeting RSV and human metapneumovirus (hMPV). RSV is a leading cause of pneumonia in toddlers and the elderly, while hMPV causes very similar respiratory tract infections.

Chinese property giant Dalian Wanda Group has avoided an immediate repayment of more than US$4 billion to its investors after reaching an agreement with them, according to a statement by the firm on Tuesday (Dec 12).

Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures is backing a new thermal storage startup, expanding its investments in long-duration power backup. Fourth Power converts renewable power to heat, storing it for future use. Relying on liquid tin, the thermal battery transfers heat to stacks of carbon blocks at extremely high temperatures, which can later be discharged as electricity through thermophotovoltaic cells.

Pfizer said on Tuesday (Dec 12) it has agreed to donate the rights of royalties from sales of cancer drug Bavencio to address concerns from US antitrust regulators related to its US$43-billion deal to buy Seagen.

Apple is adding a feature to iPhones to prevent thieves from gaining access to critical device data in the event that they know a user’s passcode. On Tuesday (Dec 12), the company released the first beta-test version of iOS 17.3, which includes a new Stolen Device Protection feature.

Elon Musk’s X, the social network formerly known as Twitter, is on track to bring in roughly US$2.5 billion in advertising revenue in 2023 – a significant slump from prior years, according to sources familiar with the matter.

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


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