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Niyati Shetty

Virgin Australia to buy rest of frequent flyer program for $480 million

16 Sep 2019

Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd on Monday said it entered an agreement to buy back the 35% of its Velocity frequent flyer program that it does not already own for A$700 million ($481 million) from private-equity group Affinity Equity Partners.

UPDATE 2-NZ's Synlait misses FY profit estimates, shares slump

12 Sep 2019

* Sees continued growth in profits for fiscal 2020 (Updates throughout with share movement, analyst comment, background)

Australia Wesfarmers's profit resilient despite hardware's woes

27 Aug 2019

Australian retail conglomerate Wesfarmers Ltd posted the slowest earnings growth in six years in its hardware unit but still met forecasts for overall annual profit, raising hopes it can withstand a spending slump thanks to diversification.

UPDATE 3-Australia Wesfarmers's profit resilient despite hardware's woes

27 Aug 2019

* Shares reverse losses to move into positive territory (Adds managing director's comments, fresh fund manager comment)

SE Asia Stocks-Singapore falls as core inflation outlook lowered

23 Aug 2019

* Singapore core inflation rises at slowest rate since April 2016 * Philippines adds 1.2% for week, snaps 4 weeks of declines * Vietnam snaps 7 weeks of gains By Niyati Shetty Aug 23 Singapore stocks declined on Friday as authorities trimmed full-year inflation forecast towards the lower half of their guidance range, while last-minute buying in blue chips saw Philippine shares reverse course to end higher. The city state's core inflation eased to its slowest pace in more than three years in July, in further evidence of weakened economic condition. Singapore shares fell 0.6% for the day, with Hutchison Port Holdings Trust and Hongkong Land Holdings retreating 5.7% and 2.3%, respectively. The benchmark stock index was down nearly 1.8% for the week. Meanwhile, uncertainty about how much further the U.S. Federal Reserve would cut interest rates also rattled investors who keenly await Chairman Jerome Powell's speech at a gathering of policymakers later in the day. Thai stocks ended 0.8% higher and were the top performer in Southeast Asia, with nearly all sectors closing higher. Communication and industrial stocks largely underpinned gains, with telecom company Total Access Communication Pcl adding 4.6%. Vietnam shares snapped seven sessions of gains on Friday but gained 1.3% for the week. Philippine equities closed 0.5% higher, bouncing back from a 0.5% drop earlier, due to a spurt in buying of large caps including JG Summit Holdings, SM Investments Corp and Ayala Corp just few minutes before close. Shares of JG Summit jumped 3% in the last 15 minutes of trade to end up 1.9%. The Manila stock index ended four weeks of declines and added 1.2% this week. Philippine financial markets are closed on Monday for a holiday. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3110.35 3127.74 -0.56 Bangkok 1646.68 1633.56 0.80 Manila 7889.41 7848.83 0.52 Jakarta 6255.597 6239.245 0.26 Kuala Lumpur 1609.33 1602.47 0.43 Ho Chi Minh 992.45 997.26 -0.48 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3110.35 3068.76 1.36 Bangkok 1646.68 1563.88 5.29 Manila 7889.41 7,466.02 5.67 Jakarta 6255.597 6,194.50 0.99 Kuala Lumpur 1609.33 1690.58 -4.81 Ho Chi Minh 992.45 892.54 11.19 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

SE Asia Stocks-Most decline; markets await clues from Powell speech

23 Aug 2019

* Markets await U.S. Fed Chair Powell's speech due late Friday * Philippine set to fall for a third straight session * Singapore core inflation seen slowing to near 3-yr low - poll By Niyati Shetty Aug 23 Most Southeast Asian stock markets dropped on Friday as investors kept to the sidelines amid uncertainty over the outlook of U.S. interest rates, while fears of a global economic slowdown persisted. The U.S. Federal Reserve has come under increasing pressure to cut borrowing costs more, including a call by President Donald Trump on Wednesday for the central bank to reduce its benchmark rate. With U.S. bond markets signalling a looming recession, markets are also eagerly awaiting a speech by Fed chair, Jerome Powell, who is due to speak at a gathering of global policymakers later in the day. "The rhetoric from a few regional Fed Presidents yesterday (Thursday) underscored the divided tone within the Fed and reinforced market view that there is no pre-set path for more rate cuts," OCBC Bank said in note. Philippine stocks declined to a more than one-week low, with real estate firms weighing on the index for a second session after China urged the Manila government to ban online gaming and support its crackdown on cross-border gambling. Conglomerate Alliance Global Group, casino hotels operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp and property firm Ayala Land were among the top laggards, retreating as much as 4.5%, 3.1% and 1.7%, respectively. Singapore equities dropped ahead of the city-state's inflation data, with conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings slipping up to 1.2% and Singapore Technologies Engineering losing 1.7%. The country's core inflation is seen easing to its slowest pace in nearly three years, a Reuters poll showed, shoring up expectations that the local central bank will loosen policy later this year to boost the economy. The Jakarta index was little changed a day after Bank Indonesia unexpectedly trimmed key interest rates by 25 basis points for a second straight month, a pre-emptive move in anticipation of a flagging global economy. Bucking the trend, the Thai index advanced up to 0.6%, and was slated to post gains of 0.4% for the week. Airports of Thailand added 0.7% and PTT PCL climbed 1.2%. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0330 GMT Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3118.06 3127.74 -0.31 Bangkok 1639.22 1633.56 0.35 Manila 7776.29 7848.83 -0.92 Jakarta 6235.901 6239.245 -0.05 Kuala Lumpur 1601.51 1602.47 -0.06 Ho Chi Minh 995.58 997.26 -0.17 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3118.06 3068.76 1.61 Bangkok 1639.22 1563.88 4.82 Manila 7776.29 7,466.02 4.16 Jakarta 6235.901 6,194.50 0.67 Kuala Lumpur 1601.51 1690.58 -5.27 Ho Chi Minh 995.58 892.54 11.54 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

SE Asia Stocks-Indonesia cuts losses after surprise rate trim

22 Aug 2019

* Bank Indonesia cuts key rates by 25 bps to 5.50% * Philippines weighed down by property stocks * Singapore July inflation data due on Friday By Niyati Shetty Aug 22 Indonesian stocks cut losses to close slightly lower on Thursday as a surprise interest rate reduction by the central bank calmed investors worried about a possible economic slowdown, while Philippine shares extended falls to their lowest close in nearly a week. Bank Indonesia (BI) cut key rates for a second month in a row, this time by 25 basis points to 5.5%, saying it was acting pre-emptively in anticipation of a global economic slowdown. The central bank said it would continue with an "accommodative policy mix", but ING senior economist Nicholas Mapa said he expected "BI to monitor closely the next moves of the U.S. Federal Reserve as well as the stability of rupiah before seriously considering further rate cuts in the near term". The key Jakarta stock index recovered from early falls to trade in positive territory after the rate-cut news, before ending down 0.2%. Materials and telecom stocks weighed the most, with Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa Tbk PT slipping 2.4% and Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Persero) Tbk PT falling 0.5%. Broader Asia was also down as investors looked at central banks in hopes for stimulus to shore up economic growth, while uncertainty over the outlook for U.S. interest rate cuts lingered. Minutes of the Fed's July meeting released on Wednesday showed deep splits among policymakers over whether to cut interest rates last month, raising the stakes for Chair Jerome Powell's speech at a gathering of global policymakers on Friday. Philippine stocks declined for a second straight session, dragged by property stocks as China urged the country to ban online gaming after welcoming its move to stop accepting applications for online gaming licences. Office landlords with significant exposure to Philippine offshore gaming operators, including Megaworld Corp, D.M. Wenceslao & Associates, and Filinvest Land were heavily sold down by investors, RCBC Securities said in a note. Megaworld slumped 8.5% and DMW fell 4.6%. Malaysian stocks rose 0.5%, with IOI Corp Bhd adding 1.7% and Misc Bhd gaining 1%. Singapore equities edged higher ahead of July inflation data due on Friday. Core inflation likely eased to its slowest pace in nearly three years last month, a Reuters poll showed, reinforcing hopes that the central bank would loosen policy later this year. Singapore Telecommunications Ltd rose 1.6% and conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings added 1.4%. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3127.74 3122.57 0.17 Bangkok 1633.56 1638.24 -0.29 Manila 7848.83 7886.91 -0.48 Jakarta 6239.245 6252.967 -0.22 Kuala Lumpur 1602.47 1594.59 0.49 Ho Chi Minh 997.26 994.38 0.29 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3127.74 3068.76 1.92 Bangkok 1633.56 1563.88 4.46 Manila 7848.83 7,466.02 5.13 Jakarta 6239.245 6,194.50 0.72 Kuala Lumpur 1602.47 1690.58 -5.21 Ho Chi Minh 997.26 892.54 11.73 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

SE Asia Stocks-Indonesia slips as market awaits c.bank stance; Singapore, Malaysia gain

22 Aug 2019

* Bank Indonesia likely to keep rates on hold at 5.75% - poll * U.S. Fed Chair Jerome Powell's speech due late Friday * Philippine stocks drop 1.5% By Niyati Shetty Aug 22 The Indonesian index retreated on Thursday as investors kept a cautious stance and waited for central bank's clues on further rate cuts, while Singapore and Malaysian stocks edged up ahead of a key gathering of global policymakers. Traders expect that the U.S. Federal Reserve's annual Jackson Hole symposium and a Group of Seven summit this weekend will shed light on the next steps policymakers will take to support economic growth. Meanwhile, a Reuters poll showed that nearly all analysts believe Bank Indonesia (BI) will keep its key rate unchanged at 5.75% after a 25 basis point cut in July. "At the end of the day it is a situation that there is something wrong with the economy, but how are we going to fix this," said Taye Shim, head of research, Mirae Asset Sekuritas. The recent easing spree from regional central banks and disappointing local economic data could prompt a surprise rate cut from the BI. The Indonesian index extended declines with Telekomunikasi Indonesia dropping 1.8% and Bank Central Asia slipping 0.9%. "It is imperative for central banks across the globe to push down the rates," added Shim, who thinks the BI will cut rates in its policy meeting later in the day. An index of Jakarta's 45 most liquid stocks fell 0.7%. Singapore shares recovered from previous session's losses to trade marginally higher, with industrials supporting the index. Conglomerates Jardine Matheson Holdings added 2.2% and Jardine Strategic Holdings rose 1.3%. After minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day session in July was released on Wednesday showed policymakers deeply divided over whether to cut interest rates, markets eagerly await Chair Jerome Powell's speech for more clarity. However, Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific at OANDA warned that, "with positioning in equities, bonds and energy all heavily weighted to a (dovish) outcome, the resulting correction from a lack of Powell love, could be both ugly and emotional." Financial and industrial sectors supported the Malaysian equities, with RHB Bank Bhd advancing 1.5% and Misc Bhd rising 1.4%. Philippine shares slumped for a second straight session as index heavyweights SM Prime Holdings dropped 2.9% and Megaworld Corp slipped 8.3%. The Philippine stock market was closed for a holiday on Wednesday. Elsewhere, Thai stocks retreated a session after it clocked significant gains, following a surprise rise in July exports as gold shipments surged. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0428 GMT Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3126.11 3122.57 0.11 Bangkok 1633.63 1638.24 -0.28 Manila 7772.71 7886.91 -1.45 Jakarta 6227.719 6252.967 -0.40 Kuala Lumpur 1597.92 1594.59 0.21 Ho Chi Minh 994.91 994.38 0.05 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3126.11 3068.76 1.87 Bangkok 1633.63 1563.88 4.46 Manila 7772.71 7,466.02 4.11 Jakarta 6227.719 6,194.50 0.54 Kuala Lumpur 1597.92 1690.58 -5.48 Ho Chi Minh 994.91 892.54 11.47 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

SE Asia Stocks-Most fall as focus turns to Fed

21 Aug 2019

* Indonesia down ahead of cenbank meeting on Thurs * Thailand gains on surprise rise in July exports * Philippine markets closed for a holiday By Niyati Shetty Aug 21 Most Southeast Asian stock markets closed lower on Wednesday as investors anxiously awaited a couple of U.S. Federal Reserve events for clues on further rate cuts, while Thai shares gained on strong export data. Market participants looked forward to the minutes of the Fed's July meeting due later in the day and the annual Jackson Hole seminar later this week for hints on what additional steps policymakers will take to boost economic growth. Worries of a sharp economic slowdown have compounded as the Sino-U.S. trade war shows no signs of abating. U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday a confrontation with China was necessary even if it caused short-term harm to the U.S. economy. Indonesian shares fell 0.7% ahead of a central bank policy meeting on Thursday, with financials accounting for most of the losses. Bank Indonesia is expected to keep key interest rates on hold, a Reuters poll showed, as recent market volatility rooted in worries about global growth will likely delay further cuts on top of the one in July. Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk PT slipped 1.2% and Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk PT lost 2%. Singapore stocks declined, dragged by financials and industrials. Lender DBS Group Holdings Ltd fell 0.5% and conglomerate Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd slipped 1.5%. Fitch Ratings said Singapore would be among the Asian developed markets that would be hit the hardest by a sharp economic slowdown in China, given its close trade links with the mainland. Thai stocks gained 0.8% as investors cheered data showing customs-cleared exports unexpectedly rose in July for the first time in five months. The data comes a day after Thailand's finance ministry cut its 2019 economic growth forecast to 3.0% from 3.8% projected in April, due to falling exports. Nomura Holdings maintained its 2019 growth guidance at 3.0% and said "the Bank of Thailand will also likely revise its GDP growth forecast" and "follow up with another 25 basis point policy rate cut next month, taking the policy rate to a historical low of 1.25%." Vietnam shares gained, supported by financial and real estate stocks, with Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Viet Nam adding 4%. The Philippine market was closed for a holiday. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3122.57 3135.95 -0.43 Bangkok 1638.24 1625.57 0.78 Jakarta 6252.967 6295.738 -0.68 Kuala Lumpur 1594.59 1602.75 -0.51 Ho Chi Minh 994.38 984.67 0.99 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3122.57 3068.76 1.75 Bangkok 1638.24 1563.88 4.75 Manila 7886.91 7,466.02 5.64 Jakarta 6252.967 6,194.50 0.94 Kuala Lumpur 1594.59 1690.58 -5.68 Ho Chi Minh 994.38 892.54 11.41 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

SE Asia Stocks-Most fall as investors await Fed policy stance

21 Aug 2019

* Singapore down up to 0.6%, snaps 2 sessions of gains * Minutes of July Fed meet due later on Wednesday * Thai shares gain after July exports rise unexpectedly By Niyati Shetty Aug 21 Most Southeast Asian markets fell on Wednesday, with Singapore leading declines, as investors waited for minutes of U.S. central bank's July meeting. The markets look forward to hints about any further monetary policy easing, following global recession fears that dampened risk sentiment last week. "Asian markets may see some retracement today (Wednesday) amid some modest profit-taking" ahead of the Fed's July minutes due later in the day and Chair Jerome Powell's speech on Friday, OCBC Bank said in a note to clients. Singapore stocks declined after two sessions of gains, with financial and industrial sectors weighing on the index. Jardine Strategic Holdings fell 2% and United Overseas Bank slipped 1.1%. Indonesian equities declined as financials took a toll. Lenders Bank Mega Tbk PT and Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk PT slumped 8.1% and 1.4%, respectively. Meanwhile, the Thai bourse climbed after data on Wednesday showed custom-cleared annual exports rose 4.28% in July from a year ago, contrary to a 2.3% drop expected in a Reuters poll. The data comes a day after Thailand's finance ministry cut its 2019 economic growth forecast to 3.0% from the 3.8% it projected in April, due to falling exports. Oil & gas explorer PTT Exploration and Production added 1.7%, while trading firm Berli Jucker rose 3.8%. Vietnam stocks were poised to gain for a sixth straight session. Philippine markets were closed for a holiday. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS AS AT 0444 GMT Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3119.84 3135.95 -0.51 Bangkok 1634.25 1625.57 0.53 Jakarta 6262.59 6295.738 -0.53 Kuala Lumpur 1599.66 1602.75 -0.19 Ho Chi Minh 990.89 984.67 0.63 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3119.84 3068.76 1.66 Bangkok 1634.25 1563.88 4.50 Manila 7886.91 7,466.02 5.64 Jakarta 6262.59 6,194.50 1.10 Kuala Lumpur 1599.66 1690.58 -5.38 Ho Chi Minh 990.89 892.54 11.02 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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