Daily Morning Note – 4 February 2020



Asian stocks looked set to open mixed Tuesday after modest U.S. gains as investors continued to weigh efforts to contain the coronavirus. Commodities remained under pressure, with oil sinking about 3%, and the dollar rose. Futures indicated a muted start in Tokyo and Sydney, while Hong Kong contracts gained. The S&P 500 Index closed higher as China added stimulus in an effort to shore up its economy and American manufacturing data topped estimates. Treasuries dipped, though pared much of their losses toward the end of the session, while the yen weakened while the yuan remained above the key 7 per dollar level. Elsewhere, copper dropped for a 14th straight day. Oil fell below $50 a barrel after Chinese consumption was said to plunge by 20% amid efforts to control the spread of coronavirus.


More Singapore-listed companies are reporting impact to their operations amid the ongoing novel coronavirus situation, the latest being Nico Steel and KTL Global. On Monday, Nico Steel said its operations in Suzhou, China, will be temporarily closed until Feb 9 in line with the latest directives by the Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government in its precautionary measures against the virus.

Aqua Munda has again extended its invitation for Hyflux’s noteholders and unsecured creditors to tender offers for their debts to be purchased at a minimum discount of 85 per cent.

SINGAPORE banks are likely to suffer weaker loan growth and more volatile earnings in light of the coronavirus outbreak, but are sufficiently equipped with “good capital buffers” to weather the immediate negative impact, S&P Global Ratings said in a press statement on Monday.

OCBC Investment Research on Monday downgraded its call on CDL Hospitality Trusts (CDLHT) to “hold”, citing that the coronavirus outbreak could weigh on travel demand.

Coal mining firm BlackGold Natural Resources on Monday morning requested an immediate suspension in the trading of its shares.

The voluntary suspension comes as the company is finalising an announcement pertaining to “certain agreements executed” by BlackGold, it said in a filing before the market opened.

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


Singapore Banking Monthly – Bracing for some headwinds

Recommendation: Overweight (Maintained)

Analyst: Tay Wee Kuang

– Federal Reserve held rates steady in the range of 1.5% – 1.75%. NIM for Singapore banks expected facing compression, especially with 3-month SIBOR down 11 bps YoY to 1.78% end Dec19.

– Singapore domestic loans grew at a stable pace of 3.1% in December 2019.

– Application for Digital Banking license closed on 31 Dec 2019. Based on MAS’ timeline, Digital Banks will likely begin operations only in 2021.

– Maintain Singapore Banking Sector at Overweight. Strong efforts in capital management will manage downside risks and provide sustainable dividend yields of near 5.0%.

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