Daily Morning Note – 18 January 2022

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Singapore shares closed higher for the eighth consecutive session on Monday (Jan 17), with the Straits Times Index rising by 5.98 points or 0.2 per cent to close at 3,287.95. Across the Singapore market, decliners outpaced advancers 258 to 193 after some 1.13 billion securities worth S$1.09 billion changed hands.

Other major regional indices were mostly down, as South Korea’s Kospi dipped 1.1 per cent, Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur Composite Index fell by 0.8 per cent and both Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index and Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite Index slid by 0.7 per cent. On the other hand, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose by 0.7 per cent.

Stocks to watch: Singapore Airlines



Catalist-listed pawnbroker Maxi-Cash Financial Services Corp is launching another S$36.75 million in Series 003 Notes, after “interest from its investors”, the board has said. The new set of 6.05 per cent notes due 2025 will be issued on Jan 24 and, combined with the initial notes announced earlier this month, will take the final aggregate principal amount of the Series 003 Notes to S$60 million, the board said on Monday (Jan 17). Maxi-Cash disclosed that investors – including some directors and controlling shareholders or their associates – had shown interest in launching more notes under the issue, which is part of the group’s S$300 million multi-currency medium-term programme. Such investors have been allocated some 42.9 per cent of the extra notes – which takes their share of subscription to a substantial 40.4 per cent of the entire Series 003 Notes issue. Series 003 Note holders also have the option to require Maxi-Cash to redeem their notes if chairman Koh Wee Seng and his siblings Ko Lee Meng and Koh Lee Hwee no longer have a combined shareholding interest of more than 50 per cent in the company.

Almost 600,000 passengers flew on Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Scoot’s planes in December, in its strongest set of results since the Covid-19 pandemic rapidly worsened in early 2020. The number is almost double the figure in November, and seven times the figure in December 2020, according to figures released on Monday afternoon (Nov 17). But experts said the rate of recovery is expected to slow down in the coming months, owing to the Omicron variant and the reduced quota for a quarantine-free travel scheme. The SIA Group, which is made up of the full-service SIA and its budget arm, Scoot, said the significant increase in passenger demand in December came on the back of a continued expansion of its Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flights and the year-end travel season.

Petrochina International Singapore climbed three spots to become the top marine fuel supplier in the world’s biggest ship refuelling hub in 2021, a year when the overall number of licensed suppliers fell by 4 to 41, official data showed on Monday (Jan 17). Shell Singapore’s bunkering unit, Shell Eastern Trading, fell from the top ranking in 2020 to third, behind Singapore’s Equatorial Marine Fuel Management Services in second place, unchanged from 2020, the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore data showed. Vitol Bunkers, previously Sinanju Marine Services, climbed six spots to rank fourth in 2021, followed by Trafigura’s TFG Marine in fifth, up 11 spots from 2020, the data showed. Mercuria’s Minerva Bunkering ranked 13th in 2021, up from 22nd in the year before.


Oil prices rose on Monday with investors betting that global supply will remain tight, although restraint by major producers was partially offset by a rise in Libyan output. Brent crude settled up 42 cents, or 0.5 per cent, to US$86.48 a barrel. Earlier in the session, the contract touched its highest price since Oct 3, 2018, at US$86.71. US West Texas Intermediate crude was up 53 cents, or 0.6 per cent, at US$84.35 after touching its highest price since Nov 10 at US$84.78. Trade was subdued due to the US holiday honouring slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Gold edged higher after its best week in two months as traders weighed the outlook for monetary policy against the threat posed by a fresh coronavirus wave in the US. Facing pressure from Congress and the public to tackle the hottest inflation since the 80s, a chorus of Federal Reserve officials this month floated raising rates in March and the potential need to hike as many as five times this year, marking a clear shift in projections from just a few weeks ago. The central bank meets next Tuesday to decide on policy. Spot gold rose 0.2 per cent to US$1,820.91 an ounce at 11 am in London, after gaining 1.2 per cent last week, the most since November. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was steady after gaining 0.2 per cent in the previous session. Silver and palladium advanced, while platinum edged lower.

The US dollar edged lower on Monday (Jan 17) as traders took the view that Federal Reserve tightening moves were largely priced in, while the euro eased from Friday’s 2-month high. An unexpected cut to key lending rates in China highlighted it as the outlier, with other major central banks in talks to raise rates. China’s move only briefly weighed on the yuan. The US dollar index, which declined sharply last week until Friday’s leap, edged down 0.1 per cent at 95.076 at 0900 GMT.

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

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