Daily Morning Note – 25 Febraury 2021

PHILLIP SUMMARY

The Dow finished at a fresh record on Wednesday, shaking off early weakness following dovish comments from the Federal Reserve chief and progress on another coronavirus vaccine.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1.4 per cent to close at 31,961.86, a new all-time high.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 1.1 per cent to end at 3,925.43, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 1.0 per cent to 13,597.97 after two days of declines.

Appearing for a second day of congressional testimony, Fed Chair Jerome Powell reiterated his expectations that inflation will remain mild and that interest rates will stay low for a while longer.

BREAKING NEWS

SG

United Overseas Bank Ltd reported a 32 per cent fall in quarterly profit as Singapore’s smallest listed bank said its net interest income declined and credit losses swelled. UOB said on Thursday that October-December net profit slumped to S$688 million from a year earlier, in line with an average estimate of S$696.3 million of four analysts, according to data from Refinitiv

Netlink NBN Trust’s net profit was S$69.5 million for the nine months ended Dec 31, 2020, up 5.9 per cent from S$65.6 million in the corresponding period of the previous year. NetLink NBN Management reported on Wednesday night that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) improved 3.6 per cent to S$209.9 million from S$202.6 million a year ago. This included government relief grants and lower operation and maintenance costs. Revenue edged down to S$276.3 million from S$277.8 million. Installation revenue fell by S$5 million, but was offset by higher residential, non-building address point (NBAP) and segment connections revenue.

Supermarket operator Sheng Siong on Wednesday posted a net profit of S$32.1 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, up 84.9 per cent from S$17.4 million a year ago. Riding on elevated demand driven by the pandemic, revenue rose 28.8 per cent to S$319.3 million from S$247.9 million in Q4 2019. The increase was attributed to better performance at existing stores (18.2 percentage points) and new stores opened in 2020 (10.6 percentage points). Earnings per share stood at 2.13 Singapore cents, up from 1.16 cents previously. For the full year, Sheng Siong’s net profit was S$139.1 million, or 83.7 per cent higher than the S$75.8 million reported for FY2019.

OUE Lippo Healthcare (OUELH) has been allotted about 163.3 million units of the rights issue of First Real Estate Investment Trust (First Reit), OUELH said in a bourse filing on Wednesday evening. Following the completion of the rights issue, OUELH indirectly owns approximately 15.4 per cent of the total number of First Reit units in issue, or about 246.9 million units.

US

India’s largest renewable energy firm ReNew Power said on Wednesday it would go public through a US$8 billion merger with a blank-cheque firm in the biggest deal in the fast-growing clean energy sector in the country. The deal will be financed with cash proceeds of US$1.2 billion, including US$855 million in investments from serial blank-cheque dealmaker Chamath Palihapitiya, funds managed by BlackRock and Sylebra Capital. It is among a wave of clean-energy firms poised to benefit from the country’s push into renewable energy.

Lowe’s said fourth-quarter same-store sales climbed 28.1%, as consumers spent more on home projects during the pandemic. Same-store sales climbed 28.1%, outpacing estimates that called for a 22% gain. Lowe’s reiterated its prior forecast, which says spending on DIY projects and home improvement could ease as consumers resume normal activities post-pandemic.

Bitcoin climbed, aided by supportive comments from Ark Investment Management’s Cathie Wood and news that Square boosted its stake in the cryptocurrency. Overall investor sentiment has also been boosted by comments Tuesday from Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell, who signalled the central bank is nowhere close to unwinding its easy policy. Cryptocurrencies have been buoyed by a tide of monetary and fiscal stimulus to fight the impact of the pandemic.

Johnson & Johnson’s, one-shot COVID-19 vaccine appeared safe and effective in trials, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) staff said, paving the way for its approval for emergency use. The FDA’s panel of independent experts meets on Friday to decide whether to approve the shot. While it is not bound to follow the advice of its experts, the FDA usually does and has authorised vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.

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

RESEARCH REPORTS

Sembcorp Industries – Energy demand improving

Recommendation: Accumulate (Downgrade), Last Done: S$1.66

Target price: S$1.77, Analyst: Terence Chua

– Net profit before exceptional items of S$301mn came ahead of our loss estimates of S$147mn. The variance came from better-than-expected energy revenue.

– Energy demand and prices improved sequentially in 4Q20 vs. 3Q20 in their key markets.

– We raise our target price to S$1.77 from S$1.75 as we peg SCI to 0.85x FY21 P/B, closer to their 10-year historical average P/B up from 0.7x previously as we see the outlook improving and expect the Group to report stronger operating metrics from FY21e. As most of the positives have already been priced in, we downgrade from BUY to ACCUMULATE

>> Read more research reports

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