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Dow Jones Newswires 17/08/15
|4 August 2015 Developer OUE reports net loss of $16.3 million for Q2 SINGAPORE - Mainboard-listed integrated property developer OUE reported a second quarter net loss of S$16.3 million on Friday.
It said that this was owing to other losses of S$20.5 million, arising mainly from fair value losses on its investments in a mutual fund.
Excluding fair value losses, which are non-cash items, OUE's core business and operations recorded attributable profits of S$4.3 million.
OUE posted a 4.5 per cent dip in revenue to S$95.7 million for the three months to June 30, compared with the same period a year ago.
The firm said that there was strong performance contribution from the property investment division due to higher occupancy rates.
But this was partially offset by lower contribution from the hospitality and property development divisions.
Earnings before interest and tax remained steady at S$33.3 million, OUE added.
|14 August 2015 Highlight Singapore REITs & stapled securities average 6.6% dividend yield: SGX SINGAPORE (Aug 14): Singapore’s REITs & stapled securities average a 6.6% dividend yield, Singapore Exchange says in a market update on Friday.
By comparison, the MSCI World REIT Index maintains a divided yield of 3.8% and the Singapore Fixed Income Index a yield of 3%.
The five highest dividend yields among the sector are provided by Viva Industrial Trust (+9.3%); Sabana Shariah Compliant Industrial REIT (+9.1%); Cache Logistics Trust (+8.2%); Cambridge Industrial Trust (+7.9%); and AIMS AMP Capital Industrial Trust (+7.9%).
Notably, the MSCI World REIT Index currently maintains a total debt to asset ratio of 48.6%, versus the average for Singapore’s REITs & stapled securities of 34.6%, SGX says.
The Singapore bourse has 34 REITs with a combined market capitalisation of $62.9 billion.
14 August 2015 China securities
|14 August 2015 China securities regulator says market forces to play bigger role BEIJING (Aug 14): China's securities regulator said on Friday that the government will allow market forces to play a bigger role in determining stock prices as the market gradually shifts back to normal conditions.
However, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) told a news conference in Beijing that state margin lender China Securities Finance Corp's role in stabilising the market won't change for the next few years.
14 August 2015 Highlight Fitch affirms Singapore banks at 'AA-' with 'stable' outlook
|14 August 2015 Highlight Fitch affirms Singapore banks at 'AA-' with 'stable' outlook SINGAPORE (Aug 14): Fitch Ratings has affirmed the ratings of the three Singapore banks, DBS, OCBC and UOB.
The banks' Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) have been affirmed at 'AA-' with Stable Outlook, and the Viability Ratings (VRs) at 'aa-'.
Fitch says the ratings are based on the trio’s resilient funding profiles, which stem from stable domestic franchises, healthy capitalisation buffers and strong regulatory oversight”. These rating strengths, it adds, “mitigate risks to the banks' balance sheets from rising exposures to emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region and high loan growth - including in property-related lending - in recent years”.
Fitch believes the banks’ asset quality has benefited from favourable credit conditions over the past five years or so, and impaired loan ratios of 0.7%-1.2% of gross loans at end-June 2015 are close to cyclical lows.
That said, it reckons that slowing macroeconomic growth in Singapore and other key markets, lower commodity prices and potentially higher interest rates and market volatility present “cyclical risks to asset quality and headwinds to profitability” over the next 12-18 months, particularly in light of the strong loan growth in recent years and rising leverage in some markets. However, Fitch expects any deterioration in asset quality to be manageable.
Fitch warns that the banks' ratings are sensitive to their increasing exposures to the more challenging developing markets. This will burden their asset quality, funding profiles, particularly in foreign currency, if offshore expansion is not conducted in a disciplined manner. “Expansion in its various forms also adds to operational complexities, which could add to downward rating pressure,” it says.
Lastly, Fitch points out that OCBC could also face negative rating action if it fails to improve its capitalisation to a level closer to that of its peers over the next one to two years.
14 August 2015 United Engineers' H1 revenue down 46%
|14 August 2015 United Engineers' H1 revenue down 46% UNITED Engineers on Friday announced a 46 per cent dip in revenue to S$983.4 million for the first six months of this year.
The decline was largely attributed to the absence of revenue contribution from the sale of apartments at Austville Residences, despite higher contribution from Multi-Fineline Electronix, Inc (MFLEX).
The decrease in revenue was also attributable to the absence of contributions mainly from the Automotive and MFS Technology businesses, which were divested towards the end of 2014.
As a result of the revenue decrease, gross profit decreased by 19 per cent to S$161.3 million in H1 2015.
However, net profit on continuing operations increased 32 per cent to S$42.5 million in H1 2015 as compared with S$32.1 million in H1 2014 mainly due to positive contribution from MFLEX.
"Following the successful completion of its restructuring plans, MFLEX's turnaround has led to higher profit contribution. However, the completion-of-construction method of accounting for its property development projects continues to create volatility in the Group's performance. We will focus on strengthening the recurring income base from our portfolio of investment properties and other operating businesses to achieve a more sustainable income stream in the longer term," said Norman Ip, chairman of the United Engineers' corporate office.
14 August 2015 Former Jade Technologies director sentenced imprisonment,
|14 August 2015 Former Jade Technologies director sentenced to eight years and nine months' imprisonment, fined S$50,000 FORMER Jade Technologies director Anthony Soh was on Friday sentenced to eight years and nine months' imprisonment and slapped with a S$50,000 fine after he was convicted on 39 charges.
The charges included those for market rigging and insider trading. He also faced two charges for giving false reports to Singapore Exchange (SGX) and the Securities Industry Council.
The sentences imposed for the market rigging and insider trading offences are thought to be the highest imposed in Singapore to date. This is also the first time a person has been convicted and sentenced under Section 140 of the Securities and Futures Act for making a takeover offer when he could not perform its obligations under the takeover.
Soh, then a director of Jade, made a failed voluntary general offer via Asia Pacific Links (APL) to fully acquire Jade, which was then listed on the Catalist board of SGX. Soh was a director and the sole shareholder of APL.
14 August 2015 Wilmar buybacks fail to stem stock's biggest drop in 15 months
|14 August 2015 Wilmar buybacks fail to stem stock's biggest drop in 15 months [SINGAPORE] Wilmar International Ltd, trader of almost half the world's palm oil, failed to stem the worst weekly decline in its shares in 15 months even after conducting three stock buybacks in as many days.
The trading company accumulated almost 5 million shares, or 0.08 per cent of its shares outstanding, for S$15.2 million, according to filings with the Singapore stock exchange. The buyback was Wilmar's first since October 2014.
That didn't stop the stock from falling 4.7 per cent this week, compared with a 2.7 per cent decline in the Singapore benchmark. The move only served to bolster weekly trading volume to more than 40.8 million shares from the six-month average of 28.4 million.
"We have bought back the shares at about the same levels as in the past because we believe that Wilmar is undervalued at these price levels," the trader said in an e-mailed response to questions. The company declined to specify future buyback plans.
The company paid an average of S$3.03 a share, according to Bloomberg calculations. The shares fell 0.7 per cent to S$3.03 as of 2:38 pm in Singapore Friday, extending their decline this year to 6.5 per cent.
Almost half of Wilmar's revenue relies on China, where this week's surprise devaluation of the currency pushed lower the price of raw materials, including food commodities such as palm oil. BLOOMBERG
14 August 2015 MAS
|14 August 2015 MAS may have more reason to tweak policy after yuan's drop: poll [SINGAPORE] Singapore's central bank may have more reason to consider adjusting monetary policy settings after China's surprise devaluation triggered a fall in the Singapore dollar, a Reuters poll showed.
Six of 11 analysts in the survey, conducted between Tuesday and Friday, said yuan devaluation could add to the case for the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to tweak its policy settings.
To be sure, none of the 11 shifted their views toward monetary easing based solely on the Aug 11 yuan devaluation.
The three analysts who expect MAS policy easing in coming months as their base case all held such views even before China's surprise action, which fanned concerns about the health of the world's second-largest economy.
Hirofumi Suzuki, an economist for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, had previously expected the MAS to ease in October.
The yuan devaluation, however, "will reinforce incentives for the MAS to ease its monetary policy in an inter-meeting period," he said, adding that such easing may even happen this month.
The Singapore dollar closely tracks the yuan because traders think the yuan is included in the undisclosed, trade-weighted currency basket used by the MAS to manage monetary policy.
Some analysts say the Singapore dollar's nominal effective exchange rate (NEER) probably fell to around the bottom of the policy band during the week.
Analysts at Morgan Stanley said yuan devaluation poses risks for MAS policy, adding that a case could be made for lowering the mid-point of the policy band. "While this is not our base case, with further depreciation pressure on the SGD, the MAS would either have to defend the band or allow a one-off adjustment in the band," they said in a research note.
Singapore's monetary policy is focused on the exchange rate rather than interest rates due to the trade-dependent nature of its economy.
The MAS eased policy in January in an off-cycle policy decision. Its next scheduled review is in October.
Another uncertainty is whether spillover effects from a weaker yuan will add to disinflationary pressures in Singapore. Core inflation in June was 0.2 per cent year-on-year, having hit a five-year low of 0.1 per cent in May. "The immediate concern from the CNY devaluation is the lower oil prices and how it will affect Singapore's already low core inflation," said Philip Wee, senior currency economist for DBS Bank, adding that DBS analysts are reviewing their forecast for the MAS to keep policy steady in October.
Singapore's central bank said on Wednesday that its current monetary policy remains appropriate, adding that the Singapore dollar remains within its policy band despite increased market volatility due to China's currency devaluation. REUTERS
14 August 2015 China's yuan posts biggest weekly loss on record
|14 August 2015 China's yuan posts biggest weekly loss on record [HONG KONG] China's yuan held steady against the dollar on Friday, but posted its biggest weekly loss on record due to the central bank's surprise move to devalue its currency.
The People's Bank of China (PBOC) set the midpoint rate at 6.3975 per dollar prior to market open, firmer than the previous day's closing quote 6.399.
The spot market closed at 6.3918 per dollar, 72 pips away from the previous close and 0.09 per cent away from the midpoint. The yuan fell by 2.9 per cent for the week.
The yuan fell for three consecutive days and had repeatedly touched fresh four-year lows since Tuesday, when the PBOC surprised the market by devaluing the yuan by nearly 2 per cent. "We believe that yuan may reach new equilibrium at around 6.4-6.5 levels, but short term volatility may remain higher," said Tan Suanjin, a portfolio manager at BlackRock.
Some banks revised down their forecast for the yuan to reach 6.5-6.6 by the end of the year. A Reuters poll conducted among 23 analysts showed that the yuan would fall to 6.45 in the next 12 months.
The spot rate is currently allowed to trade with a range 2 per cent above or below the official fixing on any given day.
The offshore yuan was trading 0.81 per cent away from the onshore spot at 6.444 per dollar. REUTERS
14 August 2015 Why We Chose M1 Among The Singapore Telcos
|14 August 2015 Why We Chose M1 Among The Singapore Telcos Corporate Digest
It is no surprise that we like Telco players. The barriers of entry for this industry is high, oligopolistic industry nature, and the dividend yield is decent, what is there not to like?
In Singapore, there are three main Telco providers. Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), StarHub, and Mobile one (M1).
In terms of market size, M1 is the smallest among the three providers. This write up will reveal why size should not be the only thing you should be looking at with your investment lenses when it comes to evaluating the local Telcos.
Steady Mobile Service Segment
Like its incumbents, M1 provides both mobile (voice and data) and fixed fibre broadband services. In its mobile service, M1 offers both post-paid (normally a 2-year contract) and pre-paid services.
Within the mobile services space (post-paid), M1 commands some 23.1 percent market share.
Seen in table 1; M1 has done a relatively good job maintaining its post-paid customers base, with steady increases in the number of post-paid mobile customers, post-paid average revenue per user (ARPU), and corresponding increases in its mobile service revenue.