Daily Morning Note – 9 April 2021

PHILLIP SUMMARY

Asian stocks are poised for a steady open Friday after a Wall Street rally on Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s assurance that the central bank can reinvigorate the economy without stoking painful inflation.

Futures pointed higher in Japan and lower in Hong Kong. U.S. contracts climbed after the S&P 500 notched another record, though volumes on U.S. exchanges set new lows for the year. The Nasdaq 100 outperformed, aided by Apple Inc. and Tesla Inc. Powell’s assurance boosted Treasuries, driving the 10-year yield to a two-week low. The dollar held losses and gold retained an overnight gain.

Treasury 20-year bonds outperformed after comments from New York Fed Executive Vice President Lorie Logan sparked talk of increased central-bank purchases in this maturity.


BREAKING NEWS

SG

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation (Keppel T&T) has been granted a Facilities-Based Operator (FBO) licence by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). In an exchange filing on Thursday, Keppel Corp said the licence gives Keppel Midgard Holdings the right to own, maintain and operate telecoms infrastructure in Singapore, and to provide telecommunications services in connection with the Bifrost Cable System.

OUE Lippo Healthcare (OUELH) has received a letter of demand dated April 5 for S$10.7 million from Value Monetization III (VM III), according to a bourse filing on Wednesday. VM III alleges it had paid OUELH the sum in the S$13.1 million judgment debt OUELH had received. The S$13.1 million was paid to discharge the joint and several liability of Crest Capital Asia, Crest Catalyst Equity, The Enterprise Fund III, VMF3 and VM III to OUELH.

UOB has priced a dual tranche of senior notes at 1.25 per cent and Tier 2 subordinated notes at 2 per cent per annum. The bank raised US$1.5 billion, with a final orderbook of US$2.75 billion. The US dollar-denominated issuance is the first sustainability bond offering from Singapore and the first dual tranche senior and Tier 2 instrument in sustainability format globally from a bank issuer, UOB said in a press statement on Thursday.

Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) on Thursday announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Singtel Group Treasury (SGT) had priced S$1 billion of subordinated perpetual securities on April 7. Net proceeds from the issue will be applied by SGT to fund its ordinary course of business. In a pre-market bourse filing, Singtel said its issuance “attracted strong demand from a wide range of high-quality investors”. Its order book closed after receiving interest of about S$2.1 billion, resulting in an oversubscription.

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) has launched its consultation on special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), and it shows that the bourse has paid close attention to the criticisms of the structure. With proposed rules such as minimum market capitalisation, limiting redemptions to dissenting shareholders, as well as minimum sponsor equity participation and shareholding moratorium, the bourse has set the tone on what it expects.

The managers of Frasers Hospitality Trust (FHT) have appointed Eu Chin Fen as chief executive of the managers with effect from April 10, an exchange filing on Thursday said. Ms Eu takes over from Colin Low, whose last day of service is April 9. Mr Low resigned in late January less than two years in the role to “pursue other professional interests outside the real estate industry”. Ms Eu is currently the chief investment officer of Frasers Hospitality International, where she assists the CEO of the hospitality strategic business unit of Frasers Property Group in developing and implementing the group’s business and investment strategies.

US

Apple said it plans to argue that it faces abundant competition in the market for video game transactions to defend itself against antitrust allegations by Fortnite maker Epic Games, the iPhone maker said on Thursday. Epic sued Apple last year in federal court in California, alleging the 15-30 per cent commissions that Apple charges for the use of its in-app payment systems and Apple’s longstanding practice of exercising control over which apps can be installed on its devices amount to anticompetitive behavior.

Tesla is scouting for locations to open showrooms in three Indian cities and has hired an executive to lead its lobbying and business efforts ahead of its planned entry into the country, sources familiar with the discussions told Reuters. The electric-car maker in January registered a local company in India, where it is expected to import and sell the Model 3 sedan by as early as mid-2021, seeking to target rich customers in a niche market.

General Motors is temporarily idling or extending shutdowns at several plants in North America due to an ongoing semiconductor chip shortage impacting the global automotive industry. The temporary plant closures range from a week or two to several additional weeks for plants that have already been idled due to the parts disruption. The cost of the closures have been factored into the company’s earnings forecast for the year, according to GM. The automaker expects the problem will reduce its operating profit by $1.5 billion to $2 billion this year.

Many people are itching to book a trip to their favorite summer getaway spot but are not sure about Covid outbreaks or vaccination, testing or quarantine requirements. Online travel shopping company Expedia Group Thursday launched COVID-19 Travel Advisor, an online tool that provides information about current travel restrictions to potential and existing customers across seven of the company’s brands.

GameStop announced Thursday that the Chewy co-founder Ryan Cohen will become its chairman following the company’s annual shareholder meeting, which is scheduled for June 9. The retailer’s shares jumped more than 4% in premarket trading, putting the stock on track to snap a three-day losing streak. Shares have given up some of their sky-high gains since a surge in late January, but are still up more than 870% this year, giving the company a market value of $12.8 billion.

First-time claims for unemployment insurance rose more than expected last week despite other signs of healing in the jobs market, the Labor Department reported Thursday. First-time claims for the week ended April 3 totaled 744,000, well above the expectation for 694,000 from economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The total represented an increase of 16,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised 728,000. The four-week moving average edged higher to 723,750.

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

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