Daily Morning Note – 19 November 2021

PHILLIP SUMMARY

Asian stocks looked set for a mixed start Friday as Chinese technology shares struggle, contrasting with a rally in their U.S. counterparts that propelled Wall Street equities to a record high.

Australian shares and futures for Japan were steady, while Hong Kong contracts slid. A tumble in the likes of e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and video-streaming platform operator Bilibili Inc. hurt an index of U.S.-listed Chinese stocks. Alibaba slashed its outlook for fiscal 2022 revenue amid intensifying competition, dwindling consumer spending and regulatory curbs.

In the U.S., a clutch of megacap tech companies rose, helping to take the Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 to new peaks in a choppy session ahead of Friday’s options expiration. U.S. futures climbed in early Asian trading.


BREAKING NEWS

SG

Myanmar’s Yoma Siloam Hospital Pun Hlaing (PHH) has become the first private hospital group to procure Sinopharm’s Covid-19 vaccine, OUE Lippo Healthcare (OUELH) said in an exchange filing on Thursday (Nov 18). The hospital group, a joint venture between OUELH and First Myanmar Investment, received its first shipment of the vaccine that day, said the Catalist-listed company. This comes after PHH received approval from Myanmar’s Ministry of Health and the Food and Drug Administration to import up to 400,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, which is on the World Health Organization’s Emergency Use Listing.

Transport operator ComfortDelGro Corporation, through its wholly-owned private bus company ComfortDelGro Bus, is set to to operate Singapore’s largest electrified private bus fleet after winning a S$30 million contract to operate the shuttle bus service at the National University of Singapore (NUS) campus. In a press statement on Thursday (Nov 18), the transport operator said the multi-year contract is for the electrification of the university’s entire fleet of shuttle service buses. The NUS electric buses, which will begin operations from third quarter of 2022, will continue to serve the 8 existing shuttle bus routes within the campus covering NUS Kent Ridge campus, University Town as well as NUS Bukit Timah campus daily from 7 am to 11 pm, including public holidays.

Tourism attractions operator Straco Corporation posted a net profit of S$4.36 million in the third quarter ended Sep 30, the mainboard-listed company said in a business update on Thursday. This represents a 32.4 per cent decline from the same period a year ago, when the group reported a net profit of S$6.45 million. The group attributed Q3’s net profit to foreign exchange gain, with the Renminbi strengthening against the Singapore dollar, as well as receipts from the Singapore government’s Job Support Scheme and land rental waiver for the quarter.

Engineering solutions firm Ellipsiz on Thursday (Nov 18) announced it is planning a foray into the agri-food industry. In a bourse filing, Ellipsiz says it has entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement to buy a 20 per cent stake in ISE Capital Management (ICM) for S$2 million. ICM owns a 70 per cent interest in ISE Foods Holdings (IFH), which had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Singapore Food Agency in September for IFH to develop and operate the fourth egg farm in Singapore.

US

Alibaba on Thursday missed revenue and earnings expectations for the September quarter, as slowing economic growth in China weighed on results, adding to regulatory headwinds. The company also slashed its revenue guidance for its current fiscal year. It previously expected to bring in 930 billion yuan, which would have been about 29.5% year-on-year growth. But it now expects growth to be between 20% and 23% year-on-year.

AstraZeneca’s antibody treatment has been shown to be highly effective at preventing Covid-19 in people who may not respond well to vaccines, according to new clinical trial results. The data showed that patients given a single injection of the antibody treatment, known as AZD7442, were 83% less likely to develop symptomatic cases of the coronavirus than participants who were given a placebo. An earlier analysis of the trial, conducted three months after the treatment was administered, had shown that the risk of developing severe disease was reduced by 77%.

Starbucks is opening a pick-up cafe in midtown Manhattan with Amazon that uses the retail giant’s cashierless technology to attract busy consumers who want to buy coffee or snack quickly. The partnership with Amazon is the latest step in Starbucks’ plan to adapt its locations to consumers’ new habits. Nearly a year and a half ago, Starbucks announced it was accelerating plans to revamp its U.S. footprint, inspired by the pandemic’s abrupt shifts to how consumers wanted to buy and drink their coffee. In addition to shuttering as many as 400 stores in 18 months, the strategy included opening more pick-up locations in dense urban markets and installing walk-up windows and double drive-thru lanes in suburban areas.

Ford Motor plans to increase its production capacity of electric vehicles to 600,000 units globally by 2023, which CEO Jim Farley expects would make the company the second-largest U.S.-based producer of EVs, behind Tesla. Farley said the increase would double the number of EVs the company had initially expected to produce over the next 24 months, according to a report Thursday from Automotive News. That production is expected to be spread across Ford’s first three new EVs: the Mustang Mach-E, F-150 Lightning and E-Transit. It would come before production is expected to begin at a newly announced EV assembly plant in Tennessee, according to the Detroit-based publication.

Baidu plans to launch its driverless taxi service in 100 cities by 2030, as the Chinese search giant looks to diversify its business beyond advertising. Currently, Baidu operates its Apollo Go robotaxi service in five Chinese cities. Users can hail an autonomous car via an app. The company wants to expand Apollo Go to 65 cities by 2025 and then 100 cities by 2030, Baidu CEO Robin Li said in an internal letter that was made public.


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

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