Edition:
United Kingdom

Shruti Sonal

Australian regulator sues CBA and pension arm over banned commissions

23 Jun 2020

SYDNEY/BENGALURU Australia's corporate regulator filed a lawsuit against No. 1 lender Commonwealth Bank of Australia , accusing it of improperly collecting commission to sell the products of its pension arm to hundreds of thousands of customers.

Australian wealth manager IOOF says class action to end without payouts

25 May 2020

Australia's IOOF Holdings Ltd on Monday said a class-action lawsuit brought by shareholders last year alleging the wealth manager breached disclosure obligations will be discontinued with no payments to the plaintiffs.

New Zealand's Fonterra cuts farmgate milk prices as virus hits demand

21 May 2020

Fonterra said the coronavirus pandemic was "like nothing we've experienced before" as the world's largest dairy exporter cut the price it pays farmers for milk for the upcoming season with demand crumbling due to virus-led restrictions.

Qantas secures more funding to wait out coronavirus crisis; shares rise

05 May 2020

SYDNEY/BENGALURU Qantas Airways Ltd said on Tuesday it had secured enough funding to last it through the end of next year, boosting its shares, as it reviews its fleet with the expectation that most international travel could take years to rebound.

SE Asia Stocks-Tumble as Trump's travel ban triggers sell-off; Thailand dives 11%

12 Mar 2020

* Drops in Thailand and Indonesia trigger circuit breakers * Indonesia and Vietnam enter bear market territory * Philippines sees worst day since 2008 financial crisis * Thai index posts biggest pct drop since 2006 rout By Shruti Sonal March 12 Southeast Asian stock markets were ravaged on Thursday after the United States suspended travel from Europe as coronavirus cases across the world spiralled, sparking worries that rising restrictions would hammer economic activity. Thailand's near 11% drop and Indonesia's 5% decline triggered circuit breakers, leading to trading being halted for a period of time. Indonesia, along with Vietnam , also dived into bear territory - a period signalling drawn-out negative investor sentiment. Philippines tumbled about 10%, while Singapore lost nearly 4%. Markets were rattled and tourism stocks lost ground after U.S. President Donald Trump suspended all travel from Europe to the United States, barring the United Kingdom. The absence of large-scale tax breaks or medical tests for Americans in Trump's announcement also disappointed investors, who had expected concrete measures to cushion the economic impact of the outbreak. "President Trump's speech was notable for what it didn't contain, rather than what it did", said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA. Worries about the economic fallout from the virus also deepened after the World Health Organization described the virus as a pandemic. "Even though we do have substantial support coming through from governments and central banks alike, the dispersion of the virus so far continues to mark the risks of dragging the global economy into recession", said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG. Stocks in tourism-dependent Thailand crashed nearly 11%, the most since December 2006, on a day when the country reported its biggest daily rise in virus infections since the outbreak began. The Philippine benchmark saw its worst session since the 2008 financial crisis, slumping as much as 9.7%. Singapore stocks fell 3.8% to their lowest in more than four years, as economists predicted that the city-state's economy would shrink sharply in the first quarter. Indonesian stocks fell 5% before a circuit breaker halted trading for 30 minutes, effectively ending trade just before the bell. The index has shed more than 22% from a record peak touched on Jan. 15, even as the government announced tax relief measures for manufacturing. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 2678.64 2783.72 -3.77 Bangkok 1114.91 1249.89 -10.80 Manila 5736.27 6353.26 -9.71 Jakarta 4895.748 5154.105 -5.01 Kuala Lumpur 1419.43 1443.83 -1.69 Ho Chi Minh 769.25 811.35 -5.19 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 2678.64 3222.83 -16.89 Bangkok 1114.91 1579.84 -29.43 Manila 5736.27 7,815.26 -26.60 Jakarta 4895.748 6,299.54 -22.28 Kuala Lumpur 1419.43 1588.76 -10.66 Ho Chi Minh 769.25 960.99 -19.95 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal; Editing by Aditya Soni)

SE Asia Stocks-Dive as U.S. suspends travel from Europe, WHO calls coronavirus a pandemic

12 Mar 2020

* Indonesia, Vietnam enter bear market territory * Thai stocks see worst session since Oct 2008 * Philippine shares dive to lowest since Feb 2014 By Shruti Sonal March 12 Southeast Asian stock markets stumbled on Thursday, with Indonesia and Vietnam entering bear market territory, after the United States imposed a temporary ban on travel from Europe and world health officials declared the coronavirus a pandemic. U.S. President Donald Trump suspended all travel from Europe to the United States for 30 days starting on Friday as he responded to mounting pressure to take action against the spread of the virus. The World Health Organization described the virus as a pandemic for the first time on Wednesday, warning that Italy and Iran were now on the frontline of the disease and other countries would soon join them. "At the crux of the issue is the fear of the prolonged, widespread coronavirus sustaining its hold on the market," Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG, said in a note. "Even though we do have substantial support coming through from governments and central banks alike, the dispersion of the virus so far continues to mark the risks of dragging the global economy into recession." Central banks and governments world over are rolling out stimulus measures to contain the economic impact of the virus. The European Central Bank is expected to approve a stimulus package to support the eurozone economy when it meets later in the day. However, investors are sceptical about the efficacy of these measures as the virus continues to extract a heavy human and economic toll. In Southeast Asia, Indonesia and Vietnam entered bear market territory, joining the Philippines and Thailand. Indonesian stocks fell as much as 4.4%, shedding more than 22% from its Jan. 15 peak, even after the government announced tax relief measures for manufacturing amid the outbreak. Vietnam shares dived as much as 5.7%, falling more than 23% from its Jan. 22 peak, with Vietjet Aviation JSC hitting its lowest since December 2017. Tourism-dependent Thai equities tumbled over 9% in their worst session since October 2008, a day after the country suspended visas on arrival for visitors from 19 countries to limit the virus spread. Philippine stocks slumped as much as 6.7% to their lowest since February 2014, as increasing case of the virus sent its senate into a lockdown. Singapore stocks fell as much as 4.2% to their lowest in more than four years, as concerns of recession in the trade-reliant economy grew. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS at 0317 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 2681.42 2783.72 -3.67 Bangkok 1174.08 1249.89 -6.07 Manila 5931.25 6353.26 -6.64 Jakarta 4951.264 5154.105 -3.94 Kuala Lumpur 1427.13 1443.83 -1.16 Ho Chi Minh 767.1 811.35 -5.45 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 2681.42 3222.83 -16.80 Bangkok 1174.08 1579.84 -25.68 Manila 5931.25 7,815.26 -24.11 Jakarta 4951.264 6,299.54 -21.40 Kuala Lumpur 1427.13 1588.76 -10.17 Ho Chi Minh 767.1 960.99 -20.18 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

SE Asia Stocks-Most drop on rising doubts over U.S. virus response; Vietnam falls 3%

11 Mar 2020

* Vietnam hits lowest since Oct. 2017 * Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand fall over 1% each * Thailand cancels visa on arrivals for 18 countries By Shruti Sonal March 11 Vietnam shares tumbled more than 3% on Wednesday as coronavirus cases in the country spiked, while most other Southeast Asian markets ended lower amid growing scepticism about Washington's stimulus measures to limit the economic impact of the outbreak. The White House and Congress negotiated measures overnight to bolster the U.S. economy and the Bank of England cut interest rates to stave off a recession triggered by the fast-spreading virus. However, investors wondered whether the efforts would be enough to cushion the economic impact of the virus, which has disrupted businesses globally, while denting consumer confidence. "At present, we believe a global economic slowdown is in play, with a growing chance that a global recession could materialise if economies facing a major disruption do not promptly implement fiscal stimulus to offset reduced demand," ANZ Research analysts said in a note. The Vietnam benchmark hit its lowest since October 2017, with carrier Vietjet Aviation JSC slumping 7%, as the number of infected patients in the country surged following the reintroduction of the virus via a flight from Europe. Thai equities slumped 1.7% as tourism stocks took a beating after the country cancelled visa on arrival for 18 countries to limit virus spread. Meanwhile, Singapore stocks slipped 1.7% as well on concerns of a recession in the trade-reliant economy after a central bank survey showed that economists had more than halved their growth forecasts this year. Fears over the epidemic remained as the number of people infected topped 116,000 across the world, although China lowered emergency response levels to the coronavirus as infections retreat. Indonesian equities fell 1.3% after the country reported its first death from the virus and its central bank governor said Bank Indonesia was likely to revise lower its outlook for 2020 economic growth at its next policy meeting. Bucking the trend, Malaysian benchmark gained about 1% in its best intraday session since June 2018. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the cabinet had agreed to set up an economic action council to tackle fall in oil prices and virus outbreak. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 2783.72 2832.54 -1.72 Bangkok 1249.89 1271.25 -1.68 Manila 6353.26 6318.38 0.55 Jakarta 5154.105 5220.826 -1.28 Kuala Lumpur 1443.83 1430.47 0.93 Ho Chi Minh 811.35 837.5 -3.12 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 2783.72 3222.83 -13.62 Bangkok 1249.89 1579.84 -20.89 Manila 6353.26 7,815.26 -18.71 Jakarta 5154.105 6,299.54 -18.18 Kuala Lumpur 1443.83 1588.76 -9.12 Ho Chi Minh 811.35 960.99 -15.57 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

SE Asia Stocks-Utilities drive Philippines 3% higher; Malaysia rises on oil

11 Mar 2020

* Philippines sees best session since Jan 2019 * Malaysia rises most since June 2018 By Shruti Sonal March 11 Philippine shares jumped 3% on Wednesday in their biggest intraday gain since January 2019, driven by utilities after reports https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1239623/duterte-water-concessionaires-meeting-in-public#ixzz6GLYVTkAl said President Rodrigo Duterte was willing to meet and talk with two Metro Manila water firms to settle a government dispute over water contracts. Ayala Corp, Manila Water Co's biggest shareholder and index heavyweight, jumped 6%, while DMCI Holdings, a major shareholder of Maynilad Water Services, gained nearly 3%. Richard Laneda, a research analyst at COL Financial Group, attributed the gains to the reports and bargain-hunting by some investors. Last year, the water regulator had cancelled the extension of concession deals with Manila Water Coand Maynilad Water, the country's two largest utilities, on pressure from Duterte. Among other markets in Southeast Asia, Malaysia gained as much as 1.6% in its best intraday session since June 2018 on the back of higher oil prices. Lifting sentiment further, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the cabinet had agreed to set up an economic action council to tackle issues affecting the economy, including a drop in global oil prices and a coronavirus outbreak. Singapore shares fell as much as 0.9%, dragged by real estate stocks. CapitaLand Commercial Trust slid more than 3.5%. Indonesian equities were relatively flat after Tuesday's 1.6% jump as the central bank governor said Bank Indonesia was likely to revise down its outlook for 2020 economic growth at its next policy meeting. Meanwhile, broader Asia fell as investors were worried whether government and central bank measures would be enough to cushion the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. The White House and Congress negotiated measures on Tuesday to bolster the U.S. economy and Americans' paychecks against the outbreak's impact, but there was no immediate sign of a deal. "The details of the fiscal support off the US remains uncertain at this point", said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG. China and South Korea reported an uptick in new confirmed cases of infections, even as the number of people infected with the coronavirus topped 116,000 across the world. "Although President Xi Jinping's visit to Wuhan and the steady improvement in the coronavirus situation in China had restored some confidence, the same containment efforts may not be applicable for replication elsewhere," Pan added. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS 0357 Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 2812.41 2832.54 -0.71 Bangkok 1275.46 1271.25 0.33 Manila 6472.11 6318.38 2.43 Jakarta 5224.735 5220.826 0.07 Kuala Lumpur 1449.97 1430.47 1.36 Ho Chi Minh 826.44 837.5 -1.32 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 2812.41 3222.83 -12.73 Bangkok 1275.46 1579.84 -19.27 Manila 6472.11 7,815.26 -17.19 Jakarta 5224.735 6,299.54 -17.06 Kuala Lumpur 1449.97 1588.76 -8.74 Ho Chi Minh 826.44 960.99 -14.00 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

SE Asia Stocks-Bounce back on stimulus hopes; Singapore biggest gainer

10 Mar 2020

* Trump vows to take "major" steps to shield economy * Singapore sees best session since June 2016 * Recovery in oil prices boosts energy stocks By Shruti Sonal March 10 Southeast Asian stocks ended higher on Tuesday, rebounding from steep losses in the previous session, on rising hopes that stimulus measures from global policymakers would help shield economies from the impact of the coronavirus. U.S. Treasury yields edged higher and oil prices recovered some losses after U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to take "major" steps to blunt the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, while speculation of more rate cuts and fiscal stimulus measures by central banks across the world also rose. "A combination of bargain hunting after previous session's sharp declines and hopes of more stimulus measures have led to some respite for markets in the region," said Joel Ng, a Singapore-based analyst at KGI Securities. Falling domestic virus cases in China, the region's biggest trading partner, and President Xi Jinping's visit to the epicentre of the epidemic further lifted sentiment in Southeast Asia. Singapore shares, which had fallen the most in 11 years on Monday, closed 1.8% higher in their best session since June 2016. Bourse-operator Singapore Exchange Ltd rose 6.4% and boosted the benchmark after reporting record February derivatives trading volumes a day earlier. Selling pressure eased in other markets as well, although investors remained cautious. Any moves made by monetary and fiscal authorities "will not be a magical panacea to the ills sweeping the globe", said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA. "They can only mitigate the situation, not make it go away", he added. On the coronavirus front, Italy announced a lockdown of the entire country until next month to combat the epidemic, while the World Health Organization warned that the threat of a pandemic had become very real. Indonesian shares, which have slumped over 18% so far this year, rose 1.6% on strength in financials. The country's finance minister said authorities would use measures including buying back government bonds to stabilise markets. Bank Central Asia Tbk PT and Bank Mega Tbk PT climbed 2.4% and 3.4%, respectively. Energy sector boosted Thai stocks, which inched 1.2% higher. Oil and gas giant PTT PCL, which had slumped over 25% a day earlier, gained 5.4% in its best session since August 2019. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 2832.54 2782.37 1.80 Bangkok 1271.25 1255.94 1.22 Manila 6318.38 6312.61 0.09 Jakarta 5220.826 5136.809 1.64 Kuala Lumpur 1430.47 1424.16 0.44 Ho Chi Minh 837.5 835.49 0.24 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 2832.54 3222.83 -12.11 Bangkok 1271.25 1579.84 -19.53 Manila 6318.38 7,815.26 -19.15 Jakarta 5220.826 6,299.54 -17.12 Kuala Lumpur 1430.47 1588.76 -9.96 Ho Chi Minh 837.5 960.99 -12.85 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

SE Asia Stocks-Most rise on stimulus hopes, bargain hunting

10 Mar 2020

* Trump vows to take "major steps" to shield economy * Singapore shares see best session since Dec. 2018 * Philippine stocks fall for third straight session By Shruti Sonal March 10 Most Southeast Asian stock markets bounced back on Tuesday from steep falls in the previous session, as investors picked up beaten-down stocks amid speculation of coordinated stimulus measures from central banks. U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to take "major" steps to shield the economy against the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, while speculation of more central bank rate cuts and fiscal stimulus measures also rose. U.S. Treasury yields edged higher from historic lows and oil prices clawed back some gains after an overnight rout in U.S. shares triggered trading halts for the first time since 1997, with the S&P 500 index closing down 7.6%. Selling pressure eased in most Southeast Asian markets, in line with their broader Asian peers, but investors remained cautious. "A combination of bargain hunting after previous session's sharp declines and hopes of more stimulus measures have led to some respite for markets in the region," said Joel Ng, a Singapore-based analyst at KGI Securities. He, however, expects volatility to continue in the next few months. On the coronavirus front, Italy announced a lockdown of the entire country until next month to combat the epidemic, while the World Health Organization warned that the threat of a pandemic had become very real. Singapore shares, which had fallen most in 11 years on Monday, gained as much as 2.2% in their best session since December 2018. Bourse-operator Singapore Exchange Ltd rose over 5% and boosted the benchmark after reporting record February derivatives trading volumes a day earlier. Indonesian shares, which have slumped over 18% so far this year, rose as much as 2.8% on strength in financials. Bank Central Asia Tbk PT and Bank Mega Tbk PT climbed about 3% and 4%, respectively. The country's finance minister said authorities would use measures including buying back government bonds to stabilise financial markets. The Philippine benchmark fell for a third straight session, hurt by weakness in utilities and industrials. Index-heavyweight Aboitiz Equity Ventures shed over 7% and hit its lowest since November 2011 after posting a fall in its core net income for 2019. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS as at 0343 GMT Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 2811.69 2782.37 1.05 Bangkok 1270.61 1255.94 1.17 Manila 6246.26 6312.61 -1.05 Jakarta 5219.478 5136.809 1.61 Kuala Lumpur 1433.63 1424.16 0.66 Ho Chi Minh 828.3 835.49 -0.86 Change so far in 2020 Market Current End 2019 Pct Move Singapore 2811.69 3222.83 -12.76 Bangkok 1270.61 1579.84 -19.57 Manila 6246.26 7,815.26 -20.08 Jakarta 5219.478 6,299.54 -17.15 Kuala Lumpur 1433.63 1588.76 -9.76 Ho Chi Minh 828.3 960.99 -13.81 (Reporting by Shruti Sonal; Editing by Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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