PublicInvest Research

Author: PublicInvest   |   Latest post: Wed, 2 Dec 2020, 9:34 AM


PublicInvest Research Headlines - 1 Apr 2020

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US: Consumer confidence deteriorates amid uncertainty about outlook. Reflecting a deterioration in the short-term outlook, the Conference Board released a report showing a notable decrease in US consumer confidence in the month of March. The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index slumped to 120.0 in March from an upwardly revised 132.6 in February. Economists had expected the consumer confidence index to tumble to 110.0 from the 130.7 originally reported for the previous month. The report said the present situation index dipped to 167.7 in March from 169.3 in Feb. (RTT)

EU: Inflation slows on energy prices. Eurozone inflation slowed more-than-expected in March largely driven by falling energy prices as the spread of coronavirus pulled down economic activity, flash data from Eurostat showed. Inflation eased to 0.7% from 1.2% in February. The rate was expected to slow to 0.8%. A similar lower rate was last seen in October. Headline inflation continues to remain well below the European Central Bank's target of below, but close to 2%. Core inflation that excludes energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, slowed to 1% from 1.2% in Feb. The rate was forecast to remain unchanged at 1.2%. (RTT)

UK: Grocery sales grow at record pace in March – Kantar. UK grocery sales grew at a record rate in March as Britons prepared for a long stay at home as the country tries to slow the spread of the coronavirus, or Covid-19, pandemic. Supermarket sales grew 7.6% YoY in the past 12 weeks, which was the fastest growth in over a decade, latest grocery market share figures from Kantar showed. Over the most recent four weeks, the sales growth was nearly three times higher at 20.6%, making March the biggest month of grocery sales ever recorded, (RTT)

China: Factory activity unexpectedly expands, but economy unable to shake off virus shock. Factory activity in China unexpectedly expanded in March from a collapse the month before, but analysts caution that a durable near-term recovery is far from assured as the global coronavirus crisis knocks foreign demand and threatens a steep economic slump. China’s official PMI rose to 52 in March from a plunge to a record low of 35.7 in February, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said. The NBS attributed the surprise rebound in PMI to its record low base in February and cautioned that the readings do not signal a stabilization in economic activity. (Reuters)

Hong Kong: February home prices fall the most in 15 months as virus spreads. Hong Kong private home prices in February posted the biggest monthly decline since November 2018, falling 2.1% as the coronavirus spread across the financial center. The monthly price decline was the third in a row, after January's revised 0.1% drop, government data showed. The February price index was about the same level recorded a year ago. The epidemic brought Hong Kong to a virtual standstill last month, keeping shoppers, office workers and even protesters off the streets. The Chinese ruled city's property market has already been hit by the anti government protests in the second half of last year. (Reuters)


IHH Healthcare (Outperform, TP: RM7.00): Invests in Doctor Anywhere. IHH Healthcare co-led a minority investment in Singapore-based telehealth company Doctor Anywhere (DA), as part of DA’s USD27m Series B fundraising round to expand its platform and enter new markets in Southeast Asia. IHH highlighted the investment in DA is in line with IHH’s strategy to partner with innovative companies that deploy cutting-edge healthcare technology. The aim is to enhance the patient’s experience, treatment and clinical outcomes across its network of 77 hospitals in 10 countries. (The Edge)

Kumpulan Powernet: Bags RM354m hydropower plants contract. Kumpulan Powernet has bagged a RM354m job from Kangsar Hidro SB to undertake, amongst others, the preliminary study, design, supply, construction, commissioning and completion of five mini hydropower plants with total capacity of 32.47MW, all in Perak. The company will complete all the works so as to achieve the target completion date within 48 months from the commencement date or 24 Dec 2024, whichever is earlier. (The Sun Daily)

F&N: Gets approval to continue operating. Fraser & Neave Holdings (F&N) has been granted approval by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and the relevant local authorities to continue operating, albeit with a reduced workforce and operating hours during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period. The group was committed to supporting its customers, trade partners and the community as a whole with adequate supply of core products amidst the uncertainties. (The Edge)

CSC Steel: Urusharta Jamaah exits as substantial shareholder. The MoF’s SPV, Urusharta Jamaah SB has ceased to be substantial shareholder of CSC Steel Holdings, after selling 507,000 shares or a 0.13% stake in the listed company. It owned a total of 27.28m CSC Steel’s shares, amounting to a 7.38% stakes. (The Edge)

Rimbunan Sawit, WTK: Sign supplementary agreement on Lumiera Estate disposal. Rimbunan Sawit and WTK Holdings have entered into a supplementary agreement to amend and vary certain terms in a sales and purchase agreement worth RM85m pertaining to the disposal of Lumiera Estate in Baram, Sarawak. The supplementary agreement signed between both parties involves 4,698.2ha together with the oil palm plantation, facilities, infrastructure, improvements and immovable assets on the land. Both parties had agreed that 10% of the purchase price shall be paid upon signing of the supplementary agreement, with a further RM8.5m to be paid to Lumiera when Biogreen takes possession of Lumiera Estate. (The Edge)

Telcos (Neutral): Must ensure free internet packages to consumers is of high quality. The Communications and Multimedia Consumer Forum of Malaysia (CFM) hopes that telecommunication service providers will ensure that the quality of the free internet package service provided to consumers is at the highest level. CFM lauds the government’s collaboration with telecommunications companies to offer free internet special packages to all postpaid and prepaid users beginning 1 April 2020 until the end of the Movement Control Order (MCO). (The Edge)

Market Update

The FBM KLCI might start weaker today as US stocks ended lower Tuesday, capping a brutal quarter that saw the global COVID-19 pandemic trigger a historic market selloff. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped around 410 points, or 1.8%, to end near 21,917. The blue-chip gauge fell 23.2% over the first three months of the year, its worst first-quarter performance on record and biggest overall quarterly decline since the fourth quarter of 1987. The S&P 500 dropped around 42 points, or 1.6%, to close near 2,585, leaving it with a 20% quarterly fall. The Nasdaq Composite dropped around 74 points, or 1%, to finish near 7,732. It saw a quarterly drop of around 14%. European markets finished broadly higher today with the FTSE 100 added 1.95% while Germany's DAX rose 1.22% and France's CAC 40 tacked on 0.40%.

Back home, the FBM KLCI finished up 22.01 points or 1.66% at 1,350.89, while Bursa Malaysia small market capitalization (small cap) stocks climbed by a larger quantum, as global investors reacted to stronger China manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) data and as they continued to weigh the global economic impact from the Covid-19 pandemic. In China, Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed up 1.85%, while the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite rose 0.11%. Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi gained 2.19%.

Source: PublicInvest Research - 1 Apr 2020

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