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||Asean Affairs 1 November 2012
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The major stock indexes' early gains were short-lived as buying receded quickly. The S&P 500 was mostly flat in a session that is on track to be busier than the average day in U.S. markets, in part because of pent-up demand after the two-day closure.
Traders made it through the darkened streets of downtown Manhattan before sunrise to the New York Stock Exchange at 11 Wall Street, one of the only buildings with any electricity in that area after Sandy crippled power supply and disrupted mass transit throughout the New York metropolitan region.
Chinese stocks closed slightly higher on Wednesday, with railway, home appliance and medical sectors performing well.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.32 percent, or 6.53 points, to 2,068.88, while the Shenzhen Component Index closed at 8,369.8, up 75.56 points, or 0.9 percent.
Combined turnover stood at 81.43 billion yuan (12.8 billion U.S. dollars) on Wednesday. Gainers outnumbered losers by 563 to 336 in Shanghai and by 941 to 501 in Shenzhen.
Railway shares led Wednesday's rally on reports that the finance ministry is considering subsidizing universal services on railways. Jinxi Axle Company Limited was up by the daily limit of 10 percent to 12.71 yuan.
Home appliance producers also boomed as Chinese air conditioner giant Gree Electric Appliances, Inc. of Zhuhai reported a 57.25 percent rise in its third-quarter net profit. The company's shares jumped by 7.85 percent to 23.09 yuan.
The medical sector also witnessed a strong performance on Wednesday, with Yunnan Baiyao Group Co., Ltd. up 6.99 percent to 65.6 yuan. Joincare Pharmaceutical Group Industry Co., Ltd. climbed 4.38 percent to 4.53 yuan.
All of the 2,493 companies listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen unveiled third-quarter reports by Wednesday. Business revenues stood at 17.74 trillion yuan in the first three quarters of the year, up 6 percent year-on-year, according to the two bourses.
Thoresen Thai Agencies is looking to raise almost THB10bn ($323m) to spend on new ships and the offshore sector.
The Bangkok-listed company has announced plans for a one-for-one rights issue that will see it issue 708m new shares at THB14 each.
It says the funds will be deployed to support “opportunistic investments” as part of Thoresen shipping’s fleet expansion as well as potential opportunities in the oil and gas services sector.
Depending on market conditions, Thoresen said it plans to fund the purchase of up to fifteen supramax bulkers, either brand new or second hand vessels less than eight years old.
“In 2008, a five year old supramax vessel traded above $70m, while the average price over the last 10 years has stood at around $30m,” Thoresen said.
“Today, there are already opportunities to pick up high-quality, modern, efficient second-hand vessels below $20m, as evidenced by our recent purchase of the Thor Insuvi for $19.2m.”
“As freight rates remain low during the next 12 months, asset prices are expected to decrease even further and bottom out in 2013 before a gradual pick-up in 2014.”
Thoresen currently operates a fleet of 16 owned vessels and charters in additional tonnage to meet growing customer demand.
Hutchison Port Holdings Trust said yesterday its third-quarter net profit fell 15.1 per cent to HK$601.7 million (S$95 million) from the same period a year earlier due to higher operating expenses.
Revenue rose 2.6 per cent to HK$3.3 billion.
Container throughput in Kwai Tsing, Hong Kong increased by 5.6 per cent on-year, primarily due to the growth in transshipment cargoes, while container throughput at Yantian International Container Terminals in Shenzhen increased by 9.7 per cent primarily due to the growth in non US/Europe trade and transshipment cargoes.
Total operating expenses were HK$2.1 billion, 10.8 per cent above last year for the quarter.
The company listed on the Singapore Exchange in March last year in a US$5.5 billion (S$6.7 billion) initial public offering, the largest in the city's history.
The Straits Times Index lost 0.36 points to close 3, 038.37 points. Trading volume was 2.04 billion shares worth 1.49 billion Singapore dollars. Decliners outnumbered advancers 195 to 169, while 599 stocks closed unchanged.
Global Logistic Properties rose 0.8 percent to 2.57 Singapore dollars. It said it had acquired an additional 20 percent in its largest logistics park in China, GLP Park Suzhou, from its joint venture partner for 392.3 million Chinese yuan. Global Logistic Properties bought the stake from SEALL, a government-owned company affiliated to the Suzhou Industrial Park Administrative Committee, raising its stake to 70 percent from 50 percent.
Indofood Agri inched down 0.8 percent to 1.26 Singapore dollars. The Indonesian palm oil firm said its third-quarter net profit rose 22 percent to 258 billion Indonesian rupiah from a year earlier, mainly due to higher sales volume of palm products and contribution from sugar operations.
Overseas Union Enterprise rose 0.8 percent to 2.65 Singapore dollars. The Singapore hotel and property firm backed by Indonesia ‘s Lippo Group issued 200 million Singapore dollars unsecured fixed rate notes due 2019 at 4.25 percent per annum. The issue was under the company’s 1 billion Singapore dollars medium term note program.
SIA Engineering gained 1 percent to 4.20 Singapore dollars. The aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul firm said its second- quarter net profit fell 5.8 percent from a year earlier to 67.1 million Singapore dollars, dragged down by foreign exchange loss and higher expenses.
Among the top gainers, APB rose 0.3 percent to 52.70 Singapore dollars, while Jardine Matheson became one of the top losers by falling 1.3 percent to 61.60 U.S. dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 6.238 Chinese yuan, 9,615 Indonesian rupiah and 1.22 Singapore dollars)
Chin Teck Plantations Bhd's earnings fell 33% to RM14.62mil in the fourth quarter ended Aug 31, 2012 from RM21.85mil a year ago mainly due to lower revenue and losses sustained by its associates involved in joint ventures (JVs) in Indonesia.
It said on Wednesday that revenue also declined, falling 24.1% to RM29.10mil from RM38.37mil. Earnings per share were 16 sen compared with 23.91 sen.
Chin Teck said the lower revenue was due mainly to lower average selling prices of fresh fruit bunches, crude palm oil and palm kernel and sales volume.
"The group suffered an overall loss in its share of results of associates due to loss suffered by the JVs engaged in oil palm plantations in Lampung province, Indonesia as the JVs encountered a suspension in routine harvesting since the second financial quarter due to unrest in villages in the vicinity of the plantations," it said.
It said the suspension of the routine harvesting would be temporary as the managements of the JVs and the authorities and law enforcement agencies were taking appropriate action to resume the harvesting.
For the financial year ended Aug 31, 2012, its earnings recorded a decline of 30.7% to RM52.67mil from RM76.01mil due to lower revenue and the substantial decline in profit contribution from the associates.
Revenue was down 16.8% to RM119.22mil from RM143.34mil.
Blue chips ended the last trading day of October in the red on profit taking of key stocks but for the month, the FBM KLCI was up 2.22%, recording several fresh record highs.
At 5pm, the KLCI was down 1.6 points or 0.1% to 1,673.07, despite some late buying support seen in the last hour of trade.
Turnover was 1.6 billion shares valued at RM1.69bil. There were 342 gainers, 353 losers and 342 counters unchanged.
For the month, the KLCI is up 36.41 points or 2.22% from Sept 28's close of 1,636.66.
INDOFOOD Agri Resources, a large producer of crude palm oil, has seen a year-on-year revenue increase of Rp0.3trn ($20.74m) to Rp3.5trn, with the company citing "higher sales volume of palm products and contribution from sugar operations" as the main reasons for its growth.
However, it also recorded a decrease in revenue for the third quarter ending September 30 when compared with the previous quarter, explaining that the latest period had "certain one-off expenses of Rp82bn" which may have dragged down its revenue.
The benchmark Jakarta Composite Index shed 14.31 points to close at 4,350.29 after yesterday’s record high. Some 4.3 billion shares valued at Rp 3.8 trillion ($394 million) changed hands on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX). Decliners beat gainers 154 to 96.
The Ministry of Trade issued a regulation limiting the number of company-owned outlets to 150 and said the remaining expansion must be sub-franchised, according to a statement on the ministry’s website.
Shares in 7-Eleven franchise holder Modern Internasional fell 1.33 percent to close at Rp 740. Retailer Mitra Adiperkasa dropped 0.76 percent to Rp 6,550.
Minimarket operator Sumber Alfaria remained flat.
The wider consumer goods sector fell 1.17 percent by closing, according to Bloomberg data.
Shares in noodle-maker Indofood Sukses Makmur slumped 1.72 percent to Rp 5,700 after the nation’s largest food maker posted disappointing third quarter results.
Highlands Prime Inc., a Southern Luzon leisure estate developer led by the SM group, has returned to profitability on the back of a surge in revenues from its residential lot, condominium and log cabin developments.
In a regulatory filing, Highlands Prime reported that it had chalked up a net income of P29.2 million from January to September this year, a reversal of the net loss for the same period last year of P49.4 million.
This turnaround was fueled by a 114-percent year-on-year surge in realized revenues to P419.9 million, in turn attributed to the contribution of the residential lot projects which accounted for 51 percent of the total. Condominium and log cabin projects contributed 49 percent of total revenues.
Gross profit soared by 124 percent to P180.1 million year-on-year, likewise due to the contribution of the higher-margin residential lot projects.
Meanwhile, other income fell by 36 percent year-on-year to P21.9 million this year as last year’s earnings were boosted by an interest in an escrow fund and gain on sale of investment.
On the expenditure side, Highlands Prime’s total operating expenses rose by 4 percent to P124.2 million due to the increase in manpower cost, professional fees and repairs and maintenance. Interest expenses were down by 46 percent due to lower average lending rate and considerable reduction in outstanding bank loans.
The company’s total assets as of end-September went down to P4 billion from P4.7 billion as of end-2011 as the company reduced land and development costs and other assets.
The local stock index closed slightly lower on Wednesday, reversing early session gains from window-dressing activities, as some investors chose to lock up profits ahead of the long weekend.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index dipped by 2.16 points or 0.04 percent to close at 5,424.51. The index went up by 15.77 points before succumbing to profit-taking towards the end of the session.
For the shortened trading week, the index gained 19.35 points or 0.35 percent.
Turnover amounted to P6.35 billion. Despite the overall index decline, there were 87 advancers against 75 decliners as investors shifted to smaller-cap stocks.
By counter, the financial, industrial, services and mining/oil sub-indices weighed down the PSEi while modest gains by holding firms and property counters curbed overall decline.
Shayne Heffernan Ph.D.
Linda Johnson, Business Development Director - Private Client Group, Heffernan Capital Management
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