Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Stock Market Today:Singapore on track for GDP growth recovery to 2.4% this year

Singapore With Singapore's export orders and local business investment figures appearing to gain positive momentum this year, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) is edging up its gross domestic product (GDP) growth estimates for the city state to 2.4%, up from 2% and 1.9% in 2016 and 2015 respectively.

This is according to ICAEW's latest Economic Insight: South East Asia report, which infers from Singapore's monthly trade data that exports are beginning to recover.

For example, Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) manufacturing and electronic surveys have registered above 50 for six consecutive months with new orders pointing to 

ongoing demand for exports, notes the institute in a Wednesday press release.

ICAEW also observes tentative signs that local business investment may be beginning to recover, as fiscal spending is forecast to be mildly stimulatory following Singapore's Budget announcement that a number of infrastructure projects will be going forward.

As a result, the institute believes investment is likely to be a lesser drag on growth this year as government spending picks up.However, ICAEW cautions that given the uncertain global backdrop, unstable recovery in external trade is to be expected.

This includes the risk of what the institute deems "significant knock-on effects" in the case of increased protectionism as advocated by US president Donald Trump, in addition to further rate hikes from the US such that domestic interest rates could "snuff out any recovery in business investment before it gathers traction".

There are various factors limiting Asia's economic recovery, so we remain cautious on the outlook for the region," comments ICAEW economic advisor & Oxford Economics lead economist, Priyanka Kishore.

We do expect export contribution of net export growth to fall slightly this year, with the bulk of growth in Asia generated by domestic demand. This is similar to trends visible since 2011.

Adds Mark Billington, regional director, ICAEW South East Asia While there is an overall improvement in confidence, there are wider global and political factors that continue to pose a risk, not least in the US. Countries in South East Asia will need to focus on sustaining their recovery and hedge against the potential ripple effects.

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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Stock Market Today:Parkway Life REIT sees 9.6% rise in 1Q DPU to 3.3 cents

SINGAPORE:Parkway Life REIT's (PLife REIT) manager today posted a distribution per unit (DPU) of 3.28 cents for the first quarter ended March 31, up 9.6% from the 2.99 cents declared a year ago.

Gross revenue for the quarter remained comparable to that of the previous year at $26.9 million, in spite of the REIT's divestment of four Japan nursing homes in Dec 2016.

This was largely due to the contribution from the REIT's acquisition of a nursing home in March 2016, higher rent from the Singapore properties, and the appreciation of the Japanese yen. Additionally, PLife REIT's five new properties acquired in Japan on Feb 24 this year also began contributing to group revenue during 1Q17.

After deducting property expenses, which increased slightly by 2.3% to $1.8 million from $1.76 million in the previous year, net property income (NPI) for the quarter was 25.1 million, relatively unchanged from 1Q16.

The gain from PLife REIT's divestment of its four nursing homes in Japan last Dec will be equally distributed over the four quarters FY17, with a payout of 0.22 

Singapore cents for 1Q 2017, says the manager in a Tuesday filing to the SGX.

As part of ongoing efforts to strengthen the REIT's balance sheet, all its long-term loans which were due in FY18 had been successfully termed out in 1Q17, while there will be no long-term refinancing need till FY19.

Gearing remains at 37.6% with a low effective all-in cost of debt of 1.3% as of end March.As we continue to build on our proven strategies, we are pleased to deliver another quarter of steady DPU growth since IPO, says Yong Yean Chau, CEO of the manager.

Our rejuvenated portfolio of assets following the 2nd asset recycling and reinforced capital structure has strengthened our foundation as we look forward to delivering further growth in the year ahead.Units of PLife REIT closed flat at $2.53 on Monday.

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Monday, 24 April 2017

Stock Market Today:DeClout launches incubator programme for local ICT startups

DeClout Limited's wholly-owned subsidiary, DeClout Investments, has launched an incubator arm targeting local startups from the information and communication technology (ICT) sectors.

Under the incubation programme, the Catalist-listed company says it intends to nurture local startups in key ICT market niches of financial technology (fintech), 

cybersecurity, data analytics and smart logistics, with support from SPRING Singapore's Startup SG Accelerator scheme.

This will be accomplished by mentoring the startups in their early stages while helping them in product development, proof-of-concept, commercialisation and subsequent fundraising.

As part of Startup SG, DeClout will be another important node in the Singapore startup ecosystem that marks Singapore as a destination for developing innovative ideas and scaling up startups. This builds on the momentum from the $10 million venture capital fund committed by the National Research Foundation (NRF) in May 2016 to co-invest with DeClout in ICT startups in Singapore," says the group in a Monday release.

The support from SPRING Singapore's Startup SG Accelerator scheme exemplifies the group's unique position as a next-generation business accelerator in Singapore, it adds.

Vesmond Wong, DeClout's chairman and group CEO, comments With our proven abilities in accessing global markets, scaling through merger and acquisition and fundraising, 

we will continue to help entrepreneurs in their startup journey. Having walked the path of an entrepreneur ourselves, we are committed to imparting our knowledge and 

Expertise to the next generation in Singapore.Shares of DeClout closed flat at 17 cents on Friday.

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Friday, 21 April 2017

Stock Market Today:Burwill to pay A$25 mil for exclusive selling rights to Alliance Mineral Assets' Bald Hill lithium

Hong Kong-listed Burwill Commodity announced in a regulatory filing on Thursday that it has entered into offtake agreements with Alliance Mineral Assets, Lithco No. 2, and Tawana Resources.

Burwill will advance by instalments A$25 million ($26.3 million) for exclusive selling rights to the lithium concentrate flowing from the Bald Hill Project in Western Australia for a five-year term, and pre-emptive rights for subsequent five years.

Burwill has made an initial advance payment of A$7.5 million upon signing of the agreement, and will make two further advance payments of A$8.75 million each in July and Sept 2017.

The advance payment is a non-interest bearing advance from Burwill to the sellers, which will be repaid in full within the first two years of the five year term, by way of set-off against the purchase price for each delivery of the lithium concentrate.

In the first two years starting Feb 2018, Burwill will purchase at least 200,000 dry metric tonnes of high-grade lithium concentrate at a fixed price, worth approximately US$200 million ($279.5 million).

Lithium concentrate is raw material for lithium carbonate processing. Lithium carbonate is widely used in mobile phones, digital products, military, as well as industrial and large capacity domestic energy storage systems.

Alliance Mineral Assets is the registered holder and beneficial owner of the Bald Hill Lithium Mine Project, and has formed a joint venture with Lithco.

Separately, the SGX-listed Alliance Mineral Assets requested for a trading halt after market close on Thursday "pending for release of an announcement".Shares of Alliance Mineral Assets last closed at 31.5 cents.

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Thursday, 20 April 2017

Stock Market Today:Comfort Delgro forecasts stays for now despite Seletar bus package win DBS

DBS is keeping its forecasts for ComfortDelgro unchanged for now although subsidiary SBS Transit was announced as the winner of the latest bus package.That's because the transition will be implemented in phases and only take place from 2018, says analyst Andy Sim in a research report out today.

We maintain our buy recommendation on ComfortDelgro given its ability to deliver steady and consistent growth, says Sim. DBS has a $2.94 target price for the stock.

Furthermore, the implementation of tighter regulations on private hire cars from July 1 should help to level the playing field.The Land Transport Authority announced last night the results of the third bus package (Seletar Bus Package) and this was awarded to SBS Transit (SBST).

SBST's tender price was at $480.3 million for the five-year contract. The bid was the lowest among the 10 bids received. The contract value includes the one-off pre-operation costs, total service fee and lease charges for assets provided by LTA. However it excludes adjustments for inflation, changes in wage levels and fuel costs, 

incentive payments and service variations.There are a total of 26 bus services within the Seletar Bus Package, of which two will be new services. Of the remaining 24, SBST is currently operating 13 services, 

while SMRT currently runs the other 11 services. The bus services will be handed over to SBST in five tranches from 1Q of 2018 to smoothen the transition process.The win came as a pleasant surprise to DBS though.

We had earlier envisaged that the three contracts put up for competitive tender would be won by non-incumbents, given the drive towards a more vibrant and competitive environment, says Sim.

The Bulim Bus Package and Loyang Bus Package were won by Tower Transit Group and The Go-Ahead Group respectively.DBS notes that SBST and SMRT had submitted the lowest and second lowest bids respectively, which was not surprising given their incumbent status. This was a departure from the second tender where SBST and SMRT submitted 

the fourth and sixth lowest bids.We believe this could be due to more certainty on the operations, given that this tender is the only one closed after the transition to the contracting model on Sept 1 

2016, adds Sim.That said, we estimate that this should only have an impact of c.1-2% to our forecasts, says Sim.Shares of ComfortDelgro are up 4 cents at $2.65 while shares of SBS Transit are up 3 cents at $2.76.

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Stock Market Today:Singapore is Asia's best in attracting talent amid digital push

Singapore ranks the highest in Asia in attracting and developing talent, reflecting not only its world-class education system but how it’s adapting skills in the digital era.

The city-state took the No. 2 spot behind Switzerland on the Global Talent Competitiveness Index, published yesterday by the French business school, INSEAD. Australia 

was the only other Asia Pacific country ranked in the top 10.

The index assesses a country’s ability to enable, attract, grow and retain talent, as well as develop global knowledge and vocational and technical skills. High-

ranking countries share some key advantages: employment policies that favour flexibility, good education systems and technological competence.

Singapore’s government is seeking to build the economy into a regional high-tech hub. It’s helping small businesses adopt new technologies and supporting workers in getting re-skilled. With immigration curbs in place, the city state is pushing for automation of some low-skilled jobs, such as cleaners.

Digital technologies will help small and exposed economies like Singapore punch above their weight by creating means for their businesses and talent to reach out to the global market, said Su-Yen Wong, chief executive officer of the Singapore-based Human Capital Leadership Institute, which helped compile the index.

Some of Asia’s biggest economies ranked much lower on the index. Japan dropped three spots to No. 22 globally, while China was ranked at 54 and India at 92.

A big challenge for China lies in their ability to attract talent, and they both face the issue of local higher-skilled workers leaving to live and work abroad, said Bruno Lanvin, executive director of global indices at INSEAD and co-editor of the report.Malaysia had the highest ranking of upper middle-income countries and came in at No. 28 on the global index, beating wealthier nations such as South Korea, Spain and 

Italy. The Southeast Asian nation scores high because of its vocational and technical skills and being open to foreign talent, according to the study.

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Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Stock Market Today:SGX Resources Inc (SXR.V) Moves 0.00%

Shares of SGX Resources Inc (SXR.V) are moving on volatility today 0.00% or $0.00 from the open. The TSXV listed company saw a recent bid of 0.02 and 25000 shares have traded hands in the session.

Now let’s take a look at how the fundamentals are stacking up for SGX Resources Inc (SXR.V). Fundamental analysis takes into consideration market, industry and stock conditions to help determine if the shares are correctly valued. SGX Resources Inc currently has a yearly EPS of -0.05. This number is derived from the total net income divided by shares outstanding. In other words, EPS reveals how profitable a company is on a share owner basis.

Another key indicator that can help investors determine if a stock might be a quality investment is the Return on Equity or ROE. SGX Resources Inc (SXR.V) currently has Return on Equity of -4.20. ROE is a ratio that measures profits generated from the investments received from shareholders.

In other words, the ratio reveals how effective the firm is at turning shareholder investment into company profits. A company with high ROE typically reflects well on management and how well a company is run at a high level. A firm with a lower ROE might encourage potential investors to dig further to see why profits aren’t being generated from shareholder money.

Another ratio we can look at is the Return on Invested Capital or more commonly referred to as ROIC. SGX Resources Inc (SXR.V) has a current ROIC of -1.90. ROIC is

calculated by dividing Net Income – Dividends by Total Capital Invested.

Similar to ROE, ROIC measures how effectively company management is using invested capital to generate company income. A high ROIC number typically reflects positively on company management while a low number typically reflects the opposite.

Turning to Return on Assets or ROA, SGX Resources Inc (SXR.V) has a current ROA of -368.53. This is a profitability ratio that measures net income generated from total company assets during a given period. This ratio reveals how quick a company can turn it’s assets into profits. In other words, the ratio provides insight into the

profitability of a firm’s assets. The ratio is calculated by dividing total net income by the average total assets.

A higher ROA compared to peers in the same industry, would suggest that company management is able to effectively generate profits from their assets. Similar to the other ratios, a lower number might raise red flags about management’s ability when compared to other companies in a similar sector.

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Monday, 17 April 2017

Stock Market Today:Strong regional headwinds spell trouble for Japfa's earnings ahead

CIMB Research is downgrading its call on Japfa from add to reduce, lowering its price target on the counter to 69 cents from $1.41 previously on strong headwinds in the industrial agri-food company's two largest markets, Indonesia and Vietnam.

In a report last Thursday analyst Jonathan Seow says Japfa's "stellar FY16" is unlikely to be repeated this year as poultry prices in Indonesia have weakened considerably in 1Q17 due to oversupply, with broiler prices now at loss-making levels.

This is in addition to depressed swine prices in Vietnam, which prove contrary to CIMB's initial expectations of a recovery after they first began falling in 4Q16, recalls Seow.

While we remain positive on the long-term macro and industry prospects, we also note that these current headwinds are especially troubling because Indonesia (72% of FY16 revenue) and Vietnam (12%) are Japfa's two largest markets, says the analyst.

CIMB has therefore updated its earnings per share (EPS) forecasts to account for the weak selling price environment and lower margins, such that its FY17-19F EPS projections have fallen by 36-42%

Noting that Japfa continues to trade near its historical level of 11.9 times and significantly above its historical mean of 8.7 times despite underperforming since its dismal 4Q16 results, Seow believes the stock is currently "way too expensive and unjustified" given the multiple near-term headwinds.

The company's 1Q17 results are due to be announced on April 27, which CIMB expects to disappoint.As at 11am, shares of Japfa are trading 6.8% lower at 75 cents.

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Thursday, 13 April 2017

Stock Market Today:Chinese backers planning Singapore's third derivatives exchange

Singapore may be set to get a third derivatives exchange, this time backed by China.If the new bourse, which would be called Apex, goes ahead, it would be operated by Asia Investment, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Asia Investment is majority-owned by former China Financial Futures Exchange and Dalian Commodity Exchange chief Eugene Zhu Yuchen, with a minor stake held by the firm of hedge fund manager Ge Weidong, according to corporate records in the city-state.

Apex would be a potential challenger to Intercontinental Exchange Inc. and Singapore Exchange, which already operate bourses in the city. A Chinese-backed offshore exchange would dovetail with Beijing's drive to raise the country's status in global financial markets and bolster the presence of its companies around the world. A mainland firm is seeking to buy the Chicago Stock Exchange, while the Shanghai Stock Exchange is reportedly close to acquiring a stake in Pakistan's national bourse.

Zhu's Asia Pacific Holdings holds a 97.8% stake in Asia Investment, according to the firm's corporate records, while Ge's Hong Kong-based Chaos Investment owns 1.6%. Asia Investment has paid-up capital of US$12.2 million ($17 million). Zhu declined to comment when asked about the new venue. Officials in Chaos Investment's Hong Kong office didn't respond to requests for comment.

We are still in the process of working with the Monetary Authority of Singapore to obtain a license as an approved exchange," Asia Investment said in a March 13 letter to Singapore's Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. The firm was appealing to change its name to Asia Pacific Exchange Pte. and to reserve the name for at least a year.

The bourse could list commodity futures and interest rate options and swaps, according to two of the people, who asked not to be named because the talks are private. Details haven't been finalized, the people said, and the plans are still at an early stage.

CME Group Inc., the world's biggest exchange operator by market value, was approached to take a stake in the venture but discussions didn't advance, according to another person. A CME official declined to comment.

Singapore, where Mandarin is widely spoken, is a popular Chinese travel and investment destination. Mainland firms form the biggest group of foreign-listed companies on the Singapore Exchange, while the FTSE China A50 Index Futures is the most active derivatives contract in the city-state.

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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Stock Market Today:SGX partners China bank to raise Singapore capital market's profile

Singapore Exchange (SGX) has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (SPDB) to raise the profile of Signapore's capital market.

In the agreement signed at the third Singapore-Shanghai Financial Forum, both entities will collaborate on leveraging SGX for international fund-raising. SPDB will recommend Chinese companies to raise funds through initial public offerings, listing of Reits and business trusts, and the issuance of offshore renminbi bonds.

Both will also work together on financial and commodity markets, with SPDB exploring opportunities in SGX's gold futures.

Some activities planned include internal trainings and an exchange programme between SGX and SPDB staff, which will provide opportunities for both parties to share knowledge on the business environments of both countries as well as SGX's listing requirements.

Our partnership with SPDB which is well-regarded in China's capital market for its outstanding performance and business innovation will not only raise Singapore's profile as an offshore centre and international exchange, but also support Chinese companies capital-raising needs as they seek international opportunities and profiling, he added.

Cui Bingwen, SPDB executive vice-president, said that by working with SGX, the bank hopes to better serve Chinese corporates going global and help them tap international capital markets.

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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Stock Market Today:Opting to pay fees in partial cash a good move for this REIT

SINGAPORE :DBS is maintaining its buy call on SPH REIT with a higher target price of $1.04 after the REIT manager has elected to pay 40% of base management fees in 3Q17 in cash.

We factored in future fees payable in cash in our model. We believe this decision will be favourable to unitholders as the dilutive impact is now less," says analyst Derek Tan in a Tuesday report, who says investors are now looking at a dividend yield of at least close to 6% and upside potential of 6%.

Meanwhile, Tan believes this is an opportune time for SPH REIT to consider acquiring The Seletar Mall for $500 million from its sponsor, ideally within the next six months prior to the completion of The Seletar Mall's first renewal cycle at the end of 2017.

Following the acquisition, there could be a 3-4% lift in DPUs on the assumption of an optimal funding scenario which involves a partial equity fund raising of $200 million, says the analyst.

Post acquisition, gearing will increase slightly from 26% to 31% but still conservative compared to the peer average of 34%. But most importantly, the stock's liquidity should improve, which will be positive for stock prices.

With The Seletar Mall, we are positive that SPH REIT's portfolio will see stronger performance in the medium term, says Tan.SPH REIT will also derive a higher proportion of its income from necessity shopping, which adds to its resilience.

Despite c.3% drop in DPUs in the next few years, our TP for SPH REIT increases by 1% and DPU growth is strengthened and more sustainable, says Tan, Total potential return increases to 12.3% from 11.5%.Units of SPH REIT are up 1 cent at 99 cents.

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Monday, 10 April 2017

Stock Market Today:Tuan Sing to buy Sime Darby Centre for $365 mil

SINGAPORE:Property group Tuan Sing Holdings is purchasing Sime Darby Centre for $365 million.Located at 896 Dunearn Road, the property sits on a part freehold and part 999 years leasehold commercial land of 140,886 sf.

It has an allowable gross plot ratio of 1.8 and a maximum permissible gross floor area of 253,595 sf.Currently, the property is about 96% occupied over a net lettable area of 202,712 sf.

Wholly-owned subsidiary, Gerbera Land on Friday signed the purchase agreement with Sime Darby Property (Dunearn) to purchase the property.

A sum of $1 million has been paid towards the deposit with the balance deposit of 10% of the consideration sum less $1 million to be paid within 10 business days of the date of signing of the agreement.

The transaction is expected to be completed within 10 weeks from April 7.The transaction will be financed by internal and external resources and is not expected to have any material impact on the net tangible assets or earnings per share of Tuan Sing for the FY ending Dec.

None of the directors or the controlling shareholder of the group has any interest, direct or indirect, in the transaction, it adds.Tuan Sing shares closed at 34 cents.

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Friday, 7 April 2017

Stock Market Today:Singapore Myanmar Investco to start retail, F&B operations at Junction City

Singapore Myanmar Investco announces that it will start retail and F&B operations in Junction City, the integrated development in Yangon.

With a five-year lease, the group is targeting to open up and operate up to 10 retail brands and F&B concepts in the retail & entertainment complex of Junction City.

At level 1 of Junction City, SMI will open and operate 7 retail outlets featuring Coach, Aigner, Pandora, Love Moschino, Furla, Bering and Versace Versus. The total size of these retail stores at level 1 is 7,200 sf.

In addition, the group plans to open up a large Benetton fashion retail store of 2,000 sf at level 2 of Junction City. Notably, SMI will open a Shiseido counter in Junction City and it will be the group's first Shiseido counter in Myanmar since securing the exclusive distribution agreement with Shiseido Asia Pacific in February 2017.

For F&B, the group is opening Crystal Jade Kitchen as well as Japanese ramen restaurant IPPUDO within Junction City.

Junction City has a built-up area of 260,000 sqm, and comprises Grade-A offices, a five-star luxury hotel and a retail & entertainment complex, as well as serviced residences.

Thursday's annoucement follows the successful roll-out of SMI's duty-free retail operations at Yangon International Airport New Terminal 1 since September 2016, this will be the group's next major retail and F&B venture in Myanmar.

Shares of Singapore Myanmar Investco closed 2 cents lower at 52 cents.

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Thursday, 6 April 2017

Stock Market Today:Asia Pacific continues to dominate the global IPO scene in 1Q17

The Asia-Pacific region continued to dominate global initial public offering (IPO) activity in 1Q17 to account for 70% of the global number of IPOs and 48% by global proceeds.

This is according to findings from the latest quarterly report by EY, Global IPO Trends: Q1 2017, which also reflects a 92% y-o-y increase in the global number of IPOs with a 146% growth in global proceeds in the first three months of 2017.

Greater China hosted 182 IPOs during the quarter alone, with the Shenzhen and Shanghai exchanges being most active and accounting for 20% and 19% of the global number of IPOs at 73 and 70 IPOs respectively.

In a Thursday press release, EY also observes a healthy set of listings across the public markets in Japan (27 IPOs), Australia (23), Asean (14) and South Korean (12) over the course of 1Q17.

The organisation also expects Greater China, and by extension, Asia-Pacific, to continue its dominance as the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) is anticipated to clear an extensive backlog of listings by increasing the pace of IPO approvals throughout this year.

There may however be a slowdown in new listings for other markets such that the region will see a temporary drop in activity, adds EY, but overall activity is still expected to rebound in 4Q17.

IPO activity in Asia-Pacific has been powering ahead due to the region's relative insulation from political uncertainty elsewhere in the world, ample liquidity in emerging markets, and strengthening investor sentiment on the back of reduced volatility and steady stock market gains," observes Max Loh, EY Asean and Singapore managing partner, Ernst & Young LLP.

On the outlook for the IPO market in Singapore, Loh notes an increasing interest from companies wanting to list on the Singapore Exchange (SGX), with the consumer products, industrials, healthcare and REITs sectors showing listing potential.

Although other forms of fundraising, such as crowdfunding and private equity, are viable alternatives for capital-raising and expansion, local entrepreneurial companies ultimately have a preference for a Singapore listing as a platform for growth, says Loh.

Following three large REITs IPOs last year, which raised US$1.4b in total, the trend continued in Q1 2017 with the US$108 million IPO of Dasin Retail Trust on the Mainboard, he adds.

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