DAILY MORNING NOTE | 18 July 2023
Singapore stocks ended Monday (Jul 17) with a gain of 0.2 per cent or 5.8 points at 3,254.43. DBS was the top advancer by value. The counter rose 1.5 per cent or S$0.48 to S$32.47. Another in the banking trio, OCBC, too was among the top gainers for the day. Its shares added 0.7 per cent or S$0.08 to S$12.45. UOB, however, was among the biggest losers for the day, with its shares falling 0.4 per cent or S$0.12 to S$27.71. Jardine Cycle and Carriage was the top decliner, falling 1.1 per cent or S$0.39 to S$34.20. Venture Corporation was another notable decliner, losing 0.9 per cent or S$0.14 to S$15.04. Seatrium was the most actively traded counter by volume for the day, with about 439.9 million shares traded. The counter lost 2.8 per cent or S$0.004 to close at S$0.141.
Wall Street stocks rose Monday (Jul 17), extending a market rally ahead of major earnings reports and economic releases this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.2 per cent at 34,585.35. The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.4 per cent at 4,522.79, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 0.9 per cent to 14,244.95.
Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports (NODX) for June fell by 15.5% y-o-y, extending the 14.8% decrease in May. During the month, electronic and non-electronic exports declined. Electronic NODX fell by 15.9% on a y-o-y basis led by the declines of integrated circuits (ICs), personal computers (PCs) and parts of PCs which fell by 31.8%, 44.2% and 44.8% respectively. Non-electronic NODX fell by 15.4% y-o-y with petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and primary chemicals contributing the most to the decline at 34.0%, 29.5% and 61.8% respectively. NODX to the top markets fell on the whole, although NODX to Hong Kong and China rose. The top contributors to the decline in NODX were Malaysia (-30.7%), Indonesia (-35.7%) and South Korea (-24.2%). On a m-o-m seasonally adjusted basis, NODX grew by 5.4% in June to $14.5 billion as electronic and non-electronic NODX increased.
Singapore Airlines (SIA) carried 2.9 million passengers on a group level in June, up 50.4 per cent from a year ago, it said in its operating results filed to the bourse on Monday (Jul 17). The group’s passenger load factor last month also hit a monthly record of 90.6 per cent, marking a 5.1 percentage point increase on a year-on-year basis. Both SIA and Scoot posted record passenger load factors of 89.7 per cent and 93.6 per cent for the month, respectively. Cargo operations registered a load factor of 51.6 per cent, down 13 percentage points year on year. Cargo loads declined by 14.9 per cent year on year due to weaker demand, said the group, while capacity expanded by 6.6 per cent as increased passenger services resulted in higher bellyhold capacity.
Thomson Medical Group has issued S$30 million worth of notes that mature in 2028 at 5.5 per cent interest. The notes will be consolidated with some S$120 million worth of existing notes due in 2028 – which were issued on May 31 – to form a single series. They are part of the group’s S$1 billion multi-currency debt-issuance programme. Interest is payable semi-annually in arrears. The notes will mature five years from May 31, 2023. Net proceeds from the issue of these notes will be used for general corporate purposes, Thomson Medical said.
TA Corporation’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Tiong Aik Construction, has been placed under provisional liquidation as it is unable to pay its debts, the group said in a bourse filing on Monday (Jul 17). TA Corporation noted that the board of directors of Tiong Aik Construction resolved to appoint provisional liquidators after assessing that its financial condition was such that it was “presently unable to pay its debts as and when they fall due”. TA Corporation has also requested voluntary suspension of the trading of its shares as a matter of “prudence”, pending engagement with its stakeholders and clarity on the financial position of the company, as well as the group.
The closing date for the offer to acquire and delist shipbuilder Penguin International has been extended for a third time to 5.30 pm on Aug 3, the company said on Monday (Jul 17). The offer, priced at S$0.83 a share, was originally set to close on Jun 22. This was extended to Jul 6, before being extended again to Jul 20. This is the offeror’s second attempt to take the company private, following an unsuccessful bid in 2021. As at 6 pm on Monday, the offeror and persons acting in concert have garnered 88.57 per cent of the total number of shares in the company.
Meta Platforms will be fined one million kroner (S$131,365) per day over privacy breaches unless it takes remedial action, Norway’s data protection authority said on Monday (Jul 17), in a move that could have wider European implications. Regulator Datatilsynet said it would charge the fine every day from Aug 4 until Nov 3, unless Meta takes action. It said Meta cannot harvest user data in Norway, such as users’ physical locations, and use it to target advertising at them. Meta said it would review Datatilsynet’s decision, and that there would be no immediate impact on its services. Datatilsynet has referred its move to the European Data Protection Board, which, if the latter agrees, could make the fine permanent and widen the decision’s territorial scope in Europe.
Microsoft said it has a binding agreement to keep the Call of Duty franchise on the Sony Playstation platform as its planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard appears closer to completion. The announcement on Sunday (Jul 16) of a deal with Sony Group from Microsoft seeks to address regulators’ concerns that the merger would make more Activision games – such as the massively popular shooting-game franchise – exclusive to Xbox. The deal is for 10 years, a Microsoft spokesperson said.
Ford deepened a price war in the electric-vehicle (EV) industry on Monday (Jul 17) by slashing the prices of its F-150 Lightning trucks, including a 17 per cent cut for the base model. The company said it was able to cut prices following improvements in scale and battery raw material costs. In the quarter through June, Ford’s EV sales fell 2.8 per cent. Battery raw material prices have been one of the factors that pushed EV prices up. But prices of cobalt and lithium, crucial for EV batteries, have declined. The base Pro variant of Lightning now carries a suggested retail price of US$49,995, compared with its prior price of US$59,974, while the higher-end Platinum model will cost about 6.2 per cent less, at US$91,995.
Bridgebio Pharma’s experimental drug for a rare heart disease showed significant improvement in patients in a late-stage study. The drug was 1.8 times better than placebo when measured for preventing death, hospitalisation and improvement in six minutes’ walking distance as part of the main goal, the company said. The drug, acoramidis, also helped improve survival by 81 per cent in patients on the treatment compared to 74 per cent on the placebo, and also reduced frequency of heart disease-related hospitalisation by 50 per cent. No safety concerns were identified, the company said. BridgeBio plans to submit the data to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the end of 2023, as part of its marketing application. The company also expects to file in additional markets next year.
Source: SGX Masnet, Bloomberg, Channel NewsAsia, Reuters, CNBC, WSJ, The Business Times, PSR
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