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27 August 2015 Massive divestments loom on the horizon for Singtel: Moody’s
|27 August 2015 Massive divestments loom on the horizon for Singtel: Moody’s Gains will amount to billions.
Singtel is expected to monetize a number of non-core assets in the near-term in order to pare down its debt, according to a report by Moody’s.
For instance, Singtel needs to monetize its assets in NetLink Trust by April 2018. The value of the assets transferred by Singtel to NetLink Trust is about $2 billion, and Moody's expects Singtel to use part of the divestment proceeds to repay debt.
"Singtel could also monetize its investments in its non-core Singapore associates, including Southern Cross and Singapore Post -- the market capitalization of which was $4.1 billion as of 30 June 2015 (valuing Singtel's stake at about $940 million)," said Nidhi Dhruv, a Moody's Assistant Vice President and lead analyst for Singtel.
Singtel has recently sold its 30% stake in travel services company Abacus Travel Systems for $4.1m (US$3m).
The latent value of Singtel's investments in its regional mobile associates was also significant at about $30.3 billion as of June 2015, more than double its adjusted total debt of $11.8 billion, Moody’s said.
27 August 2015 StarHub strikes out data roaming fees for travellers to Malaysia
|27 August 2015 StarHub strikes out data roaming fees for travellers to Malaysia Surf the net without extra costs.
StarHub today revealed a cross-border initiative that will remove data roaming costs for prepaid subscribers travelling to Malaysia.
Under the initiative, subscribers can now use their existing prepaid data bundle across the border with no additional fee for activation or subscription.
The service also does away with the need to manually select a partner network to enable roaming services.
“We believe our offering is relevant for the tens of thousands who travel between Singapore and Malaysia daily,” said Tian Ung Ping, Assistant Vice President of Mobile Prepaid Business, StarHub.
To enable data roaming, subscribers need to dial *123*5*2# to open their existing prepaid data bundle for overseas us
27 August 2015 Technical recession almost inevitable after dismal manufacturing numbe
|27 August 2015 Technical recession almost inevitable after dismal manufacturing numbers Services figures don’t look to good either.
Singapore is at greater risk of dipping into technical recession after churning out persistently weak manufacturing figures in July.
The city-state’s headline industrial production number contracted by 6.1% in July, worse than market expectations and down further from -4.0% in June.
Analysts warn that the poor statistics plainly show that the twin engines of Singapore’s manufacturing sector—electronics and pharmaceuticals—have crumbled on back of weak demand and intensifying external headwinds.
“[The] odds of a technical recession are rising against the backdrop of a worsening global outlook,” said Irvin Seah, economist at DBS. “The economy is on thin ice with poor July manufacturing figures. The poor IP outcome will no doubt raise the likelihood of a technical recession, [or] two consecutive quarters of sequential decline.”
Hak Bin Chua, economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, noted that the gloomy manufacturing number are not expected to rebound significantly in August.
“We now think that the odds are more than even that the Singapore economy slipped into a technical recession in the third quarter, as defined by two consecutive quarter-on-quarter contractions. We doubt August IP will recover significantly, especially given recent weak China PMI and market conditions. Both the recent Singapore PMI and Electronics PMI also reverted to below 50 in August,” he noted.
But the equation isn’t quite complete for a full-blown technical recession. Seah said that the ball is now in the services sector’s court, as this segment accounts for two-thirds of the economy.
“Historical trends show that the economy moves along with the services sector. Whether the economy eventually dips into a technical recession depends not only on the manufacturing sector. In fact, it is the services sector that is the crux of the issue. On that, it doesn’t look good. The sector has already contracted by 1.1% QoQ saar in 2Q15. This sector has only ever dipped into contraction in times of recession,” Seah noted.
Singapore’s GDP contracted by 4% quarter-on-quarter in Q2. Growth forecasts have been recently narrowed to 2%-2.5% from the original 2%-4%.
“A technical recession will mean that GDP growth probably fell below that revised range, probably around 1% - 1.5% for the full year. Our GDP growth currently stands at 2% in 2015 and 2.2% in 2016, with risks on the downside,” Chua said.