Daily News - 6 Aug 2020

Industrial Insight > Daily News - 6 Aug 2020
6 Aug 2020
Compiled by AllianceDBS Research

MALAYSIAN NEWS

UMW Toyota – 7,509 vehicles sold in July, highest number for the year

UMW Toyota Motor (UMWT), a subsidiary of UMW Holdings, sold 7,509 vehicles in July, its highest number for the year and 70% more than the 4,417 units registered in June. In a statement, UMW said the improved sales in the month was mainly due to the sales tax exemption announced by the government on June 5, effective from June 15-Dec 31, 2020. “Toyota Vios continues to be its best-selling model in July, contributing about 34% of its total sales. Earlier in June, UMWT introduced the all-new fifth generation Toyota RAV4, a fully-imported Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) from Japan,” it said. Spearheaded by its automotive segment following encouraging sales achieved by UMWT and its 38% associate company Perodua in July, UMW said it is looking forward to an improved financial performance in the second half of 2020. The group’s automotive market share is estimated at 52% in July, higher than the 51.4% registered in 2019. Meanwhile, July marked Perodua’s highest monthly sales for the year with 23,203 vehicles, a 9.2% increase from the 21,250 units sold in June. (The Sun Daily)

Datasonic proposes one-for-one bonus issue

Datasonic Group announced its proposal for a one-for-one bonus issue to reward shareholders. In a bourse filing, the company said that the proposed bonus issue entails the issuance of up to 2.18bn bonus shares on the basis of one bonus share for every share held by shareholders whose names appear on its record of depositors as at the close of a to-be-confirmed entitlement date. Kenanga Investment Bank is the principal adviser for the bonus issue, which is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of this year. (The Edge Markets)

Malaysian glove maker Harps weighing RM2.1b IPO — sources

Malaysian glove maker Harps Holdings Sdn Bhd is weighing an initial public offering (IPO) in Kuala Lumpur to raise about USD500m (RM2.1bn), according to people with knowledge of the matter. The company is working with advisers on the potential first-time share sale, which could take place as soon as the first half of next year, the people said. Harps is seeking a listing on the back of strong demand for gloves during the pandemic, said the people, who asked not to be named as the information is private. Harps bought lightweight nitrile examination glove maker Central Medicare Sdn Bhd in 2015, according to the unit's website. Central Medicare operates 24 double-former production (Bloomberg)

GLOBAL NEWS

US: Lapse in extra unemployment benefits to hurt US recovery, economists say

Many economists expect last week’s expiration of USD600 in enhanced weekly unemployment benefits to lead to a sharp drop-off in household spending and a setback for the US economy’s near-term recovery, even if the lapse turns out to be temporary. The average unemployed worker in the US earns a little more than USD300 a week on traditional jobless benefits. That isn’t enough for many people to keep up with routine bills, said Trevon Logan, an economics professor at Ohio State University. Missing those payments could trigger evictions, fines and late fees costs that consumers will try to avoid by pulling back on other kinds of spending, he said. Democrats want to extend the USD600 weekly benefits and did so under a new USD3.5trn virus aid bill they passed in the House in May. Senate Republicans have proposed shrinking the payments to USD200 a week, arguing USD600 discouraged workers from returning to jobs and was holding back the labor-market recovery. Studies have found many workers were taking in more in jobless aid than their prior pay, but economists say they haven’t seen evidence the assistance was affecting the rate at which people are returning to work. (Wall Street Journal)

US trade deficit narrowed in June as imports, exports rose

US exports and imports both rose in June for the first time in six months as the global economy began climbing out of the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Exports from the US rose 9.4% in June from May to USD158.3bn, the Commerce Department said in a report on Aug 5. Imports rose 4.7% to USD208.9bn. The deficit narrowed 7.5% to USD50.7bn. The gains reflected a partial economic recovery in the US, Europe and elsewhere as lockdown restrictions intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus were eased. But a resurgence of the virus in the US and some other countries suggests that a rebound in economic growth and trade might be uneven. Separate reports on Aug 5 showed that business improved for US service industries in July. The Institute for Supply Management’s nonmanufacturing index of activity in industries such as travel, health care, restaurants and real estate rose to 58.1 from 57.1 in June. (Wall Street Journal)

Eurozone retail sales return to pre-pandemic levels

The volume of retail sales in the Eurozone rebounded in June to levels recorded in February before lockdowns, official estimates showed on Aug 5, completing a recovery that began in May after record drops in March and April. Sales in the 19-country currency bloc rose by 5.7% in June from May, according to Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics office. Spending on clothing and car fuel drove the gains. The increase in sales was smaller than the 5.9% forecast by economists polled by Reuters, but that was largely offset by an upward revision of May sales. Eurostat said on Aug 5 the volume of shopping leaped by 20.3% in May for the month, revising its earlier estimate of a 17.8% increase, which was already the steepest increase since Eurozone records began in 1999. (Reuters)

Singapore retail sales slump eases in June

There is some light at the end of the tunnel for Singapore retail sales, with the reopening of shops and resumption of dining in at food and beverage outlets. Although retail sales in June fell, this was at a slower pace than in the month before, according to data from the Department of Statistics Aug 5. Takings at the till slid 27.8% compared with the same period last year, after sinking a record 52% in May. Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales fell 24.2%. This is on the back of the gradual reopening of the economy, as Singapore entered phase one of the easing of the circuit breaker restrictions on June 2 and phase two on June 19. Year on year, retail sales slumped for the 17th straight month in June. But compared with May, seasonally adjusted retail sales recorded a huge upswing of 51.1%, indicating retail sales may have bottomed out. Experts, however, cautioned that any recovery will be modest owing to continued economic challenges. (The Straits Times)