Palm oil is the most versatile edible vegetable oil on the earth. It is used as an ingredient in half of the products you could find in our supermarket. From edible biscuits to personal care or cosmetic products, you can bet that there are traces of palm oil extract. Notwithstanding its applications in consumer products, palm oil is also a renewable resource for biodiesel and biofuel and is a substitution for fossil fuels like crude oil.
Over the past fortnight, the US and Mexico struck a trade deal to send Nasdaq and S&P 500 to fresh all-time highs while Dow Jones Industrial average rose above 26,000 for the first time since January. However, optimism faded after President Donald Trump threatened to exclude Canada out of the final pact.
If you were born and “bread” in Singapore, you must know that the good ol’ traditional national breakfast is “kopi-gao” (rich coffee) and “kaya-loti” (bread with coconut jam) served with silky soft-boiled “kweh-neng” (egg). Singaporean travellers hankering for a taste of home while they are overseas could now have more choices, with many home-grown brands opening outlets in places like Shanghai, Indonesia, Thailand and even the Middle East.
Earnings season is a good opportunity for investors to digest new financial information and sync up with the expectations of management teams. However, with so many companies reporting at once, it is easy to miss good results in all the noise.
On 30 July 2018, the share price of SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC) closed at $2.93, which is a level not seen since 2009! Is the drop in share price simply an overreaction following its recent disappointing earnings results? Have the fundamentals changed for SIAEC or is the beaten-down share price an opportune entry point for investors?
According to the Singapore Department of Statistics (DOS), the retail sales index, excluding automobiles, registered a 2.2 percent increase in May 2018 compared to a year ago. This signals a pickup in the retail sector, although market watchers are wary of waning momentum given the lower-than-expected 2Q18 GDP data released just two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Singapore retailers continue to struggle with rising manpower and rental costs, combined with the stiff competition from online retailers.
Over the fortnight, the US and China slapped each other with trade tariffs on some US$34 billion worth of goods. In view of China’s retaliatory tariff, Trump escalated the trade war by threatening to impose further tariffs of 10 percent on an additional US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports. The new tariff threat sparked off another global selloff on 11 July 2018.
The Singapore Government announced a set of property cooling measures effective 6 July 2018 aimed at moderating home price growth. The authorities raised the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) by 5 percentage points for owners of second and subsequent residential properties purchases as well as lifting Loan-to-Value (LTV) limits by 5 percentage point for all new housing loans. On the other hand, developers will now incur a higher remissible ABSD of 25 percent, on top of an additional 5 percent non-remittable ABSD for enbloc transactions.
From the high of 3,615 on 2 May to 2 July, the Straits Times Index (STI) tumbled 10.4% to 3238.94 on fears of rising interest rate and the ongoing trade war. In view of the above, UOBKH believes that the STI may head towards 3,100 at a worst-case scenario.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers have collectively agreed to raise supply as of 1 July 2018, which deals with the unplanned supply disruptions in Venezuela, Iran, Libya and Nigeria.