DAILY MORNING NOTE | 26 September 2023

Singapore shares ended higher on Monday (Sep 25), as the Republic continued to post softer inflation data in August. The stocks gained 0.3 per cent, or 10.58 points, to close at 3,215.4. Thai Beverage was the biggest gainer, rising 5.4 per cent or S$0.03 to close at S$0.59. The top decliner was Mapletree Pan Asia Commercial Trust, falling 1.4 per cent or S$0.02 to S$1.43. The trio of local banks ended higher on Monday. DBS gained 0.6 per cent or S$0.20 to finish at S$33.45, OCBC rose 0.9 per cent or S$0.11 to S$12.72, and UOB ended 0.8 per cent or S$0.23 up at S$28.45.

Wall Street stocks scored modest gains on Monday (Sep 25) as worries about a possible US government shutdown and lofty interest rates limited the bounce following recent weakness. Moody’s warned that a government shutdown this weekend would have negative implications for the country’s top-tier credit rating. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.1 per cent at 34,006.88. The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.4 per cent to 4,337.44, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.5 per cent to 13,271.32.

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SG

Singapore’s headline consumer price index (CPI) moderated further to 4.0% in August on a y-o-y basis, down from June’s 4.5% reading and down from 4.1% in July. The Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) core inflation, which excludes private transport and accommodation, also eased to 3.4% on a y-o-y basis in August, from 3.8% in the preceding month. The lower headline inflation was due to the lower core and accommodation inflation and offset by higher inflation for private transport due to a steeper increase in car prices. Core inflation fell due to lower inflation for services, food and retail & other goods. For 2023, the government has kept its estimates unchanged, with headline inflation projected to come within 4.5% to 5.5%. Core inflation is expected to come within 3.5% to 4.5%.

CapitaLand Ascott Trust (CLAS) has completed the divestment of four of its properties in regional France for EUR44.4 million ($64.7 million). The four properties were divested to an unrelated third party. The sum received represents 63% above the properties’ book value as at Dec 31, 2022, with the REIT receiving net proceeds of around EUR34.1 million. The exit yield, based on CLAS’s FY2022 ended Dec 31, 2022 EBITDA, is about 4% with CLAS receiving a net gain of some EUR1.2 million.

Nio said on Monday (Sep 25) it currently has “no reportable capital raising activity”, in response to media reports that the company is considering raising capital from investors. The company, which is listed in New York, Hong Kong and Singapore, noted that there was unusual market activity in its American depository shares, but said it had no capital raising activity to report, other than its recent convertible notes offering that was completed on Monday.

The privatisation offer for Penguin International closed on Monday (Sept 25) with shares owned, controlled or agreed to be acquired by the offeror and its concert parties, and valid acceptances amounting to 88.92 per cent of the company. This falls below the 90 per cent threshold that would allow the offeror to exercise its rights of compulsory acquisition to privatise the marine and offshore services provider. It is the consortium’s second unsuccessful attempt, following a previous bid in 2021.

Shares of Bursa Malaysia-listed TSH Resources will commence trading on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) mainboard on Tuesday (Sep 26), following its secondary listing by way of introduction. The oil palm plantation company noted that the secondary listing would provide an additional avenue for fundraising in Singapore and could attract wider research coverage for the company. The secondary listing does not involve any issuance of new shares. Shares of TSH that are listed on Bursa Malaysia and on the SGX will be fully fungible.

Singapore Post (SingPost) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp, to conduct a trial for SingPost’s post offices to receive FedEx parcels. The MOU comes in a bid to expand drop-off options to more locations for cross-border shipments. From now till December, FedEx customers will have the option of leaving their parcels at POPStop counters located within six post offices around Singapore at no additional charge. SingPost will handover these parcels to FedEx daily.

US

The United States’ credit rating could come under pressure if the government shuts down, Moody’s Investors Service cautioned Monday. The federal government could shut down on October 1 if Congress is unable to pass a federal spending bill. Moody’s is the only one of the three major credit rating agencies to assign the United States an outstanding rating of AAA. Standard and Poor’s downgraded the United States in 2011, following the debt ceiling standoff then. In August, Fitch Ratings knocked America’s credit rating down to AA+ after the most recent debt ceiling debate.

Apple supplier Pegatron has told its factory workers not to report for work on Tuesday (Sep 26), halting the assembly of iPhones for a second straight day at its south India factory where a fire broke out on Sunday, three sources told Reuters. Pegatron previously told Reuters on Monday that “there was a spark incident” at the facility and is currently under control. The incident “does not have significant financial or operational impact” for the company, it added.

Spotify Technology is testing an AI-powered feature that will translate podcasts to other languages, the audio-streaming company said on Monday (Sep 25). The feature marks the latest attempt by the Swedish company to capitalise on generative artificial intelligence. The translated versions, powered by Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s newly released voice generation technology, would mimic the original speaker’s style and will be more natural than traditional dubbing, Spotify said. The voice translations would be available in languages including Spanish, French and German for a select number of catalog episodes and future episode releases, which could expand the audience of the shows, said Spotify.

Getty Images Holdings is releasing an artificial intelligence tool that will generate images from the company’s vast content library – an attempt to create AI content free of the copyright and ownership concerns that have plagued the technology so far. Getty’s new product, developed with chipmaker Nvidia, will be trained on Getty’s own data and will endeavour to sidestep thorny legal issues, in part, by limiting what images will power the generator. In order to cater to businesses looking to create ads and other content, Getty will allow customers to add their own proprietary data or branding. The AI-generated images will receive Getty’s usual licence to use the content, as well as indemnification against suits. The company also said it plans to compensate artists and contributors whose work was used to train the AI model.

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


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