Daily Morning Note – 27 March 2020



The Dow surged for a third straight session on Thursday after a massive US economic relief package cleared the Senate and data showed an unprecedented spike in unemployment claims.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up more than 1,350 points, or 6.4 per cent, at 22,523.15.

The broad-based S&P 500 jumped 6.2 per cent to 2,630.07, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 5.6 per cent to 7,797.54.

The gains came despite federal data showing a 3.3 million surge in jobless claims last week, reflecting the toll from the shuttering of major segments of the American economy to try to contain the coronavirus.


The Bank of England kept its main interest rate at 0.1 per cent Thursday, a week after cutting the borrowing cost to the record-low level to combat economic fallout from the coronavirus.

European stocks reversed course to end higher on Thursday, tracking gains on Wall Street, while investors awaited a vote by EU lawmakers on emergency funds to cushion the blow from the coronavirus outbreak.

Oil prices dropped more than US$1 a barrel on Thursday as a growing number of virus-related restrictions on travel slashed global fuel demand, overshadowing expectations that a US$2 trillion US stimulus package will bolster economic activity.

The Covid-19 pandemic paralysing airline operations worldwide, Singapore Airlines (SIA) is raising S$5.3 billion in new equity and S$3.5 billion via 10-year mandatory convertible bonds (MCBs) as its largest shareholder Temasek Holdings throws its support behind the national carrier.

Mapletree Commercial Trust (MCT) is committing an additional S$18 million of rental relief to cushion the impact of Covid-19 on its retail tenants, it said in a statement on Thursday.

SPH Reit (real estate investment trust) said on Thursday that it will fully pass on its property tax rebate to its tenants “in a targeted manner.

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) announced on Thursday that its board members will take a voluntary 10 per cent reduction in directors’ fees, and the salary of those in senior management will be cut.

Santak Holdings has extended the closure of its Johor factory from April 1 to April 14 in accordance with the Malaysian government’s movement control order, it said in a bourse filing on Thursday.

Geo Energy Resources said on Thursday that the conditions for the acquisition of PT Titan Global Energy have not been met, so it may terminate the agreement if the terms remain unsatisfied by March 31, 2020.

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


Singapore Budget Snippet – Additional S$48bn to fight the virus

Analyst: Paul Chew

– S$48bn Resilience (Supplementary) budget plus S$6.4bn Unity Budget 2020 (18 Feb 20) totalling $55bn or 11% GDP. In 2009, the resilience package was S$20.5bn and wth less direct payments to businesses and households.

– Additional S$15.1 bn to enhance the Job Support Scheme. A four-fold jump to fund monthly wages for all local employees.

– Additional S$3bn for direct payments to Singaporeans under the enhanced Care and Support package.

– Transportation sector is a primary focus in this budget. From an equity standpoint, the support package does not raise the attractiveness of the sector when demand is disappearing. It will, however, improve the solvency and viability of the entire supply chain to ride out this downturn. The sectors that benefit from the budget will be: (i) Banks as it helps soften the fallout in the economy; (ii) Necessity spend sectors such as telecommunications and consumer staples as more cash payouts are directed to households.

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