News Highlights: Ayala Corporation’s (AC) net income for 1Q17 grew by 20% YoY to P6.9bn. The robust results of banking and property drove the growth. DMCI Holdings (DMC) booked 26% jump in Q1 net income at P3.7bn driven by strong performance of Semirara Mining and Power (SCC). Meanwhile, Phil. Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that merchandise exports in Q1 rose 18.3% YoY to $15.513bn, supported by 21% YoY growth to $5.579bn in March alone. Imports, on the other hand, rose 24% to $7.882bn in March, bringing Q1 imports to $22.053bn (+18.6% YoY). The central bank (BSP) decided to keep benchmark interest rates steady, stating that inflation would remain manageable and fall within the 2%-4% target.
Mart rebounds ahead of MB meeting, PSEi @7,816: Local bourse recouped some of the losses from the previous trading session ahead of the Monetary Board (MB) meeting. PSEi gained 22 points to settle 7,816 (+0.29% day-on-day), with most sectors ending in green, led by property (+0.71%) and holding (+0.70%). Among actively-traded shares were: ALI (+P0.80 at P39.40); URC (-P6.50 at P167.50); and SMPH (+P0.15 at P32.15) on P15.6bn turnover. Gainers outpaced losers, 108-94, as net foreign buying reached P1.28bn.
GDP in focus: After the MB had decided to keep interest rates unchanged; the focus will now shift on the Q1 GDP results. As forecasts show a favourable GDP outlook for Q1, investors could start repositioning their trades on stocks that could be a solid contributor for the strong GDP results. Immediate support, 7,750, resistance 7,880.
Marts mostly higher amid higher crude: Bourses across the region closed mostly up as oil prices inched higher.
Equities fell on weak retail earnings: Shares closed lower as investors digest weak earnings results from retail companies such as Macy’s. On the other hand, jobless claims reached 236,000, lower than the 245,000 estimate.
Crude rallied anew on lower US inventories: Oil prices inched higher as US stockpiles continue to decline amid lower imports. Investors are also optimistic that OPEC would agree to extend the deal to cut output, as Iraq and Algeria have already their support. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) added $0.50 to settle at $47.83/barrel.
AC posts 20% profit growth in 1Q17;
banking & property were the drivers: Ayala Corporation’s (AC) net income for 1Q17 grew by 20% YoY to P6.9bn. The robust results of banking and property drove the growth. Power and industrial technologies also showed solid earnings.
DMC reported +26% Q1 core income at P3.7bn:
DMCI Holdings (DMC) booked 26% jump in Q1 net income at P3.7bn driven by strong performance of Semirara Mining and Power (SCC). Including the P111mn one-time gain in 2016 for the partial sale of its stake in Subic Water, net income improved by 22%. SCC reported 52% growth in Q1 net income to P4.42bn primarily due to the 24% increase in coal sales volume and 41% upturn in average coal prices, which translates to P2.51bn (+53%) net income contribution to DMC.
LTG's Asia Brewery opens soy milk plant:
LT Group (LTG) unit, Asia Brewery opened its soy milk beverage manufacturing plant, AB Nutribev, in Santa Rosa City, Laguna. This plant is the first manufacturing facility to produc Vitamilk outside Thailand and the first in the country to introduce the most advanced technology.
MEG’s 1Q17 profit up 11% on strong rental:
Megaworld’s (MEG) net for 1Q17 grew by 11% YoY to P2.9bn buoyed by strong rental income (+26%) and steady residential revenues. Consolidated revenues rose 5% to P11.5bn.
MBT posted +6% YoY Q1 net income at P5.6bn:
Metropolitan Bank (MBT) reported 6% growth YoY in Q1 net income at P5.6bn, with total revenues reaching P19.9bn. Meanwhile, total deposits increased by 19% YoY to P1.4tn, with CASA deposits expanding 19%. With this, total loans climbed by 26% to P1.1tn.
JFC gains control of SuperFoods Group:
Jollibee Foods Corp.’s (JFC) subsidiary JSF Investments Pte Ltd. has gained control of SuperFoods Group with 60% stake. JFC’s partner Viet Thai International Joint Stock Co. (VTI) reduced its ownership to 40%. Previously, JFC and VTI had 50:50 ownership share. SuperFoods owns and operates Highlands Coffee and Pho 24 and is a franchisee of Hard Rock Café in Vietnam, Macau and Hong Kong. As of end-March, their combined store count was 216.
Eagle Cement, Cebu Landmasters approved for IPO:
The exchange (PSE) approved the initial public offerings (IPOs) of Eagle Cement and Cebu Landmasters yesterday. Eagle Cement targets to list on 29 May and will be offering 500mn primary shares at a maximum price of P16 apiece, while Cebu Landmasters (CLI) will be offering 505mn shares at P6.56/share. The scheduled offer period for Eagle Cement is 16-22 May while CLI will hold its offering from 19-26 May with the listing targeted on 2 June.
Exports jumped 18.3%, imports grew 18.6% in Q1:
Phil. Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that merchandise exports in Q1 rose 18.3% YoY to $15.513bn, supported by 21% YoY growth to $5.579bn in March alone. Imports, on the other hand, rose 24% to $7.882bn in March, bringing Q1 imports to $22.053bn (+18.6% YoY). Country's trade growth surpassed Indonesia’s 20.9%, Malaysia’s 20.4%, Vietnam’s 20.2% as well as Thailand’s 13.8%.
BSP kept interest rates steady:
The central bank (BSP) decided to keep benchmark interest rates steady, stating that inflation would remain manageable and fall within the 2%-4% target. Overnight lending facility was maintained at 3.5%, as well as the overnight reverse repurchase facility at 3% and 2.5% for the overnight deposit facility. Reserve requirement was also unchanged at 20%.
Palace assures speeding up infrastructure:
Malacañang assured that the current administration has been working double time to improve infrastructure through the "Build, Build, Build" program after a data showed that the country ranked 24th out of 41 countries in terms of access to infrastructure. This program aims to construct a network of roads, bridges, railways, and airports.