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The FTSE Straits Times Index (STI) ended +6.26 points higher or +0.19% higher to 3,368.18, taking the year-to-date performance to +6.35%.
The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index declined -0.04% while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index declined -0.02%.
The top active stocks were Singtel (+2.34%), DBS (+2.45%), Kep Corp (+0.19%), OCBC Bk (-0.64%), and UOB (-0.19%).
The outperforming sectors today were represented by the FTSE ST Telecommunications which gained +2.39%. The two biggest stocks of the Telecommunications Index are Singtel (+2.34%) and Starhub (+1.94%). The underperforming sector, FTSE ST Basic Materials, declined -1.29% with Geo Energy declining -2.22% and Midas Holdings unchanged. The FTSE ST Real Estate Index declined -0.35%, FTSE ST Consumer Services Index declined -0.38% and the FTSE ST Utilities declined -0.91%.
The three most active Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) by value today were SPDR GOLD SHARES (-0.18%), IS MSCI INDIA 100 (-0.95%) and STI ETF (+0.59%).
The three most active Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) by value were CapitaMall (-2.52%), Ascendasreit (+1.48%) and CapitaComm (unchanged).
The most active index warrants by value today were HSI22400MBeCW130627 (+5.04%), HSI22800MBeCW130530 (+10.53%) and HSI21800MBeCW130627 (+3.53%).
The most active stock warrants by value today were DBS MB eCW130910 (+22.22%), DBS MB ePW130902 (unchanged), and UOB MB eCW130802 (-0.97%).
*Please note the Real Estate, Consumer Services and Utilities sectors will be the focus of SGX My Gateway Educational events in 2Q13.
The central bank's weak economic data underscored a warning by the Finance Ministry's Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) on Monday about looming signs of a softer economy.
The FPO has said that collection of value-added tax grew at a slower pace of 6.9% from January-March, down from an 18% year-on-year expansion in the previous quarter.
However, exports in March rose by 4.9% to US$20.9 billion thanks to a recovery in global demand for electronics and cars.
March's month-on-month export growth came despite the baht's appreciation.
The baht gained 6-7% at one point this year to reach a fresh 16-year high last month. But the currency's strength has eased in recent days on concerns that the government and the central bank will impose measures to curb capital inflows that have driven the baht's rise.
FPO director-general Somchai Sujjapongse on Monday said the Finance Ministry is set to implement measures if the central bank's Monetary Policy Committee decides not to cut the policy rate to slow fund inflows.
The economy as a whole in the first quarter stabilised at a level comparable with the previous quarter.
Private spending continued to be the key driver of economic activities, while tourism was buoyant. Exports gradually recovered in line with the stabilising global economy.
Malaysia's FBM KLCI ended April on a firm note, with the 30-stock index closing at a fresh all-time high of 1,717.65, supported by fund buying of key stocks including BAT and UMW.
At the close on Tuesday, the KLCI had risen 9.68 points to 1,717.65. Turnover was 811.70 million shares valued at RM2.26bil. There were 254 gainers, 443 losers and 305 counters unchanged.
BAT was the top gainer, up 78 sen to RM63.32, KLK added 42 sen to RM21.56, UMW 36 sen to RM14.30 while RHB Capital gained 12 sen to RM8.48.
Matahari Department Store, the largest in its category in Indonesia, posted an 83 percent rise in profit in the first quarter this year, due in part to strong sales growth, the company said on Tuesday.
Net income of the retailer of fashion apparel, beauty products and home products rose to Rp 82 billion in the January-March period this year from Rp 45 billion in the same period last year.
MDS is controlled by Asia Color Company, a unit of CVC Capital Partners, one of the world’s leading private equity companies, and Multipolar, an investment holding company owned by the Lippo Group. The Jakarta Globe is part of the Lippo Group.
MDS said that despite flooding in Jakarta early this year that may have hurt operations of some retailers, the company still posted strong sales. Sales rose 18 percent to Rp 2.37 trillion.
The company attributed the strong financial performance to “growth of the company’s target customer segment, increased disposable income and improvements in merchandise offerings.”
MDS has 118 stores across 57 cities after it opened two new stores — in Surabaya, East Java, and Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan — in April. It is planning to open an average of 15 new stores annually for the next three years.
MDS said it was supported by more than 1,200 local suppliers and some international suppliers, relationships developed over its 55-year history.
MDS has taken steps to boost shareholder value and increase trading in its stock.
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Outstanding loans from universal and commercial banks maintained a double-digit pace of growth in March as high liquidity of the banking sector prompted industry members to service credit requirements of consumers and enterprises.
The loan portfolio of big banks reached P3.22 trillion as of end-March, up 14.2 percent from P2.82 trillion a year ago, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported Tuesday.
The increase in loans benefited both individuals and businesses, which were expected to use the proceeds to finance big-ticket purchases and investments.
Documents from the BSP showed that of the latest outstanding loans, the bulk or P2.93 trillion was accounted for by those extended to businesses. This was up 14.2 percent from P2.57 trillion a year ago.
Sectors that benefited the most from the expansion of credit to businesses included real estate, financial intermediation, transportation and communication, wholesale and retail trade, and utilities.
The balance of about P255.76 billion were outstanding loans to individual borrowers through credit card, housing, automobile and personal loans. The amount was up year-on-year by 10.8 percent from P230.84 billion.
“The sustained expansion in bank lending is in line with the robust growth prospects of the economy,” BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said in a statement.
Meantime, the still robust expansion of bank loans pushed the growth in overall liquidity in the economy to the double-digit territory in March.
The BSP reported that domestic liquidity, measured in terms of M3, grew 11.4 percent to P5.05 trillion as of end-March from P4.54 trillion a year ago. A broad measure of money, M3 includes money in circulation, savings deposits, time deposits, demand deposits and money market instruments.
The rapid pace of growth in bank loans and liquidity has elicited speculations that the Philippine economy might be facing risks of overheating.
Yesterday in Asia
Tokyo fell 0.17 percent, or 23.27 points, to 13,860.86 and Seoul rose 1.20 percent, or 23.25 points, to 1,963.95, while Sydney jumped 1.28 percent, or 65.4 points, to 5,191.2. Hong Kong added 0.69 percent, or 156.24 points, to 22,737.01.
Shanghai was closed for a public holiday.
– Singapore rose 0.19 percent, or 6.26 points, to 3,368.18.
United Overseas Bank dropped 0.19 percent to Sg$21.35 while oil rig maker Keppel Corp. added 0.19 percent to Sg$10.71.
– Taipei rose 0.80 percent, or 63.92 points, to 8,093.66.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. was 1.39 percent higher at Tw$109.5 while leading smartphone maker HTC added 3.79 percent to Tw$301.0.
– Manila closed 0.61 percent higher, adding 42.64 points to 7,070.99.
Ayala Land rose 2.2 percent to 32.45 pesos and retail store Puregold Price Club added 2.8 percent to 39.90 pesos.
– Wellington rose 0.73 percent, or 33.41 points, to 4,614.37.
Fletcher Building was up 1.14 percent at NZ$8.64, Chorus added 0.73 percent to NZ2.75 and Air New Zealand was steady at NZ$1.50.
– Kuala Lumpur rose 0.57 percent, or 9.68 points, to 1,717.65.
UMW Holdings advanced 2.6 percent to 14.30 ringgit while Genting Malaysia climbed 2.5 percent to 3.76 ringgit. UEM Land Holdings fell 4.9 percent to 2.51 ringgit.
– Jakarta added 0.69 percent, or 34.32 points, to 5,034.07.
Telekomunikasi Indonesia rose 2.63 percent to 11,700 rupiah, while food manufacturer Indofood Sukses Makmur fell 1.34 percent to 7,350 rupiah.
– Bangkok gained 0.82 percent, or 12.93 points, to 1,597.86.
Bangkok Bank rose 2.26 percent to 226 baht, while coal producer Banpu was unchanged at 341 baht.
– Mumbai rose 0.60 percent, or 116.68 points, to 19,504.18.
Hindustan Unilever (HUL) surged 17.28 percent to 583.6 rupees while resources giant Vedanta’s local arm Sterlite rose 4.03 percent to 95.45 rupees.
Shayne Heffernan Ph.D.
Economist/Hedge Fund Manager
Live Trading News
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