Daily News - 29 July 2020

Industrial Insight > Daily News - 29 July 2020
29 July 2020
Compiled by AllianceDBS Research


Ranhill gets Indonesian city’s approval to build and operate water treatment plant

Ranhill Utilities said it has received a letter of acceptance from the mayor of Bandung for its proposal to build, operate and transfer a water treatment plant in the Indonesian city, subject to negotiations with the relevant government agencies. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Ranhill said upon conclusion of the negotiations, Ranhill will execute the project agreement with the relevant parties. The group will be involved in the operations and maintenance of the 30-million-litre-a-day treatment plant for 30 years, with the water tariff set at 3,200 rupiah per cubic metre. (The Edge Markets)

Sunway buys land in Kelantan for new 200-bed hospital

Sunway is buying a leasehold plot in Kelantan for RM28.7m to construct a 200-bed hospital, which will mark the group's maiden healthcare expansion into the east coast region. The hospital's estimated development cost is RM200 million, Sunway said in a stock exchange filing. The plot measures 3.811 ha and is located at Bandar Kota Bharu — a rapidly developing area of Kota Bahru, and is within one kilometre from amenities such as Aeon Mall Kota Bharu, Platinum Wholesale Mall and Tesco Kota Bharu, said Sunway. The plot's leaseholding will expire on Aug 20, 2102. (The Edge Markets)

Press Metal unit sets USD200m as maximum for senior notes purchase

Press Metal Aluminium Holdings' unit has set USD200m (RM850m) as a maximum in its offer to holders of its senior notes due 2022. The aluminium smelter said on Tuesday Press Metal Labuan had proposed to the holders of the 4.8% senior notes to purchase their notes for cash in the tender offer which would be despatched to them. Press Metal Labuan said the offer to accept the notes was up to a maximum aggregate principal amount of USD200m. However, it would be subject to increase or decrease at its own discretion. “The offer is being made as part of the company’s policy to actively manage its balance sheet liabilities while optimising its costs of financing,” it said. (Starbiz)

DNeX proposes private placement exercise

Dagang Nexchange (DNeX) is planning to raise as much as RM109m by selling new shares, with the bulk of the proceeds earmarked for new investment. DNeX, in a filing with Bursa Malaysia, has proposed to issue up to 496m new shares, or 20% of the company's enlarged share capital, via a private placement exercise. The indicative issue price was assumed at 22 sen per share. DNeX said the actual number of shares to be issued via the proposed private placement exercise will depend on the group's total number of issued shares on a date to be determined later. (The Edge Markets)


US Fed is extending its lending programs until the end of the year

US Federal Reserve said July 28 that it is extending its menu of lending programs to businesses, governments and individuals to the end of 2020. Originally set to expire Sept 30, the myriad facilities, stretching from credit to small businesses up to the purchase of junk bonds now will stretch to Dec 31. The Fed began rolling out the initiatives as market functioning broke down in March. A lack of liquidity stemming from fears over the coronavirus crisis froze markets and pushed the central bank into various credit facilities, a number of which had their origins during the financial crisis. A lending program for local and state governments already had been set to run to Dec 31 and the commercial paper facility, which provides short-term funding for businesses, expires March 17, 2021. The extension comes even though the take up on most of the programs has been fairly slow. When they announced the initiatives in early April, Fed officials said the facilities could provide some USD2.3trn worth of funding. (CNBC)

US home-price growth decelerated in May

Home-price growth slowed slightly in May, as home sales fell for a third straight month due to a widespread shutdown of economic activity in many parts of the country. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, which measures average home prices in major metropolitan areas across the nation, rose 4.5% in the year that ended in May, down from a 4.6% annual rate the prior month. Sales of previously owned homes, which make up the bulk of the housing market, dropped 9.7% m-o-m in May, according to the National Association of Realtors, as the pandemic continued to keep potential buyers at home. Existing-home sales have since surged 20.7% in June. A shortage of homes for sale around the US has kept home-price growth from slowing further, economists say. Record-low interest rates have boosted demand from home buyers, while the inventory of homes for sale has dropped from year-ago levels as sellers remain cautious. (Wall Street Journal)

Singapore third in Asia-Pacific for mobile network experience ahead of 5G rollout: Study

Singapore has emerged third in a study by mobile analytics firm Open signal, which compares the mobile network experience of users in six major Asia-Pacific (APAC) cities in the three-month run-up to the launch of 5G networks in these markets. The other five cities are Hong Kong, Seoul, Sydney, Taipei and Tokyo, all of which have already rolled out 5G networks. Open signal senior analyst Sam Fenwick on July 28 said Singapore had "some catching up to do" in certain aspects of the mobile network experience, which were "exacerbated by its status as a relatively late-comer to 5G". Open signal assessed users' mobile network experience across four metrics: 4G availability, download speed experience, upload speed experience, and video experience. Singapore came in third for 4G availability (measured by the proportion of time users were connected to 4G services); Seoul and Tokyo tied for the highest score. (The Straits Times)

Australian employment suffers setback from second coronavirus wave

Australian employment fell 1.1% between mid-June and mid-July, weekly data showed on July 28, with the biggest loss coming from the southeastern state of Victoria, which is grappling with a fresh wave of coronavirus infections. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said total payroll jobs decreased 2.2% in Victoria alone as additional Covid-19 restrictions were re-introduced following an "alarming" rise in cases. The state reported 384 new Covid-19 cases on July 28, on top of a record 532 the previous day. Australia had seen a surge in job growth in the past couple of months as authorities largely managed to control the spread of the virus and began re-opening the economy. That helped recoup around 35% of payroll jobs lost due the coronavirus, July 28 figures showed. There had been around 12.3m people counted as employed in June, according to official employment statistics, down sharply from just over 13m in early March before the lockdowns kicked in. (The Straits Times)