Daily Morning Note – 22 November 2020


U.S. equity futures pushed higher Tuesday after the triggering of a formal transition process to President-elect Joe Biden. Asian stocks looked poised for gains. S&P 500 contracts climbed after the General Service Administration acknowledged Biden as the apparent winner of the presidential election. Futures pointed to gains in Japan, while Australian stocks advanced. Earlier, U.S. stocks closed in the green, with tech shares lagging and small caps jumping. AstraZeneca Plc became the latest firm to deliver positive vaccine developments, bolstering demand for cruise-line operators and airlines.


Malaysia will close some of Top Glove’s factories in stages as it moves to screen employees for coronavirus following a big jump in infections, a senior minister said on Monday. The world’s largest maker of latex gloves has racked up record profits this year on skyrocketing demand for its products and protective gear, thanks to the pandemic.

In one of the biggest management reshuffles at Keppel Corp – maybe even for Singapore Inc – the conglomerate unveiled top-level changes at three key business units plus several senior executive appointments, including one at group level, to ramp up growth. The all-insider shakeup of a “generational” kind – all six are “young guns” in their 40s and talent groomed from within – will be effective around mid-February next year.

Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust’s (Ascendas Reit) preferential offering to unitholders has launched at 9am on Monday and will close at 5pm on Dec 1. The manager on Monday said it expects the trading of the new preferential offering units to start on Dec 9. The preferential offering will be done on the basis of 37 new units for every 1,000 existing units held at Nov 18 at 5pm.

Merck agreed to acquire privately held biopharma company OncoImmune for an upfront payment of US$425 million in cash to gain a potential therapy for severe Covid-19. OncoImmune shareholders will also be eligible for payments based on sales and on the achievement of certain regulatory milestones, the companies said in a statement Monday.

Snap is rolling out a new tool for its Snapchat app to feature popular videos, called Spotlight, and said it will pay out US$1 million a day to creators of the top-performing posts. To earn the money, video submitters to Spotlight don’t have to have large followers – or even have public profiles. Instead, an algorithm will determine what to show Snapchat users based on how often others view the post. If others view the same video repeatedly, for instance, that’s a signal it’s catching on and will spur the algorithm to distribute it more widely.

China Evergrande Group took two more steps toward restoring confidence in its finances, securing a US$4.6 billion investment from state-linked companies and lining up 23 cornerstone investors for the spinoff of its property services arm. Companies backed by city governments in Guangdong province – Evergrande’s home base – will buy equity worth 30 billion yuan (S$6.1 billion) from existing investors in Hengda Real Estate, a unit that holds Evergrande’s main property assets in China, a person familiar with the matter said over the weekend, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public.

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


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