News Highlights: CIMB Group of Malaysia partnered with PLDT Inc. (TEL) FINTQ for the former’s lending business. GLO signed P6bn & US$20mn, 7-year term loan with Mizuho Bank Ltd. that will partly finance capex. MWC notified the Exchange of its P0.59/cu.m. foreign currency differential adjustment (FCDA) effective 01 April 2018. The amount will be 2.31% of the basic charge. AEV bought 3.113mn UBP shares at P90.75 last 13 Mar. 2018. CHIB has allowed P1.8bn in capex for 2018, contrary to reports of P50bn.
Bourse scored lower, PSEi @8,419. Despite the last-minute 22-point bounce from an intra-day low of 8,398, local equities closed 33 points lower at 8,419 (-0.4%) ahead of latest US inflation gauge. Sectors were mixed with gains posted by industrials (+0.3%) & holdings (+0.15%) while banks (-1%) & property (-1%) weakened. MRC (-P0.04 at P0.85); BDO (-P3.80 at P149.50); ALI (-P0.45 at P41.55) & SM (-P1 at P963) led actively-traded shares, as turnover paled to P6.55bn. Market breadth was weak, 84-123.
Caution on undertow. Sessions might mimic regional marts’ response to Wall Street’s weakness, zeroing-in on the crude market. Fund managers might approach this with caution, as volatility reverts to the forex & bond mart. Trade selectively & position gradually on lows. Immediate support is 8,300, resistance 8,430.
Mostly remained firm: Asian marts mostly shrugged-off early pressure ahead of U.S. inflation announcement, with expectations of still gradual rate hikes in the U.S..
Stocks retreat: Wall Street fell with Sec. of State Tillerson’s removal from office, as incoming Sec. of State Mike Pompeo is likely to support scrapping the nuclear deal with Iran. Crude futures also fell 1.2% to $60.62/barrel on rising US production. Meanwhile, the US Labor bureau reported Feb. inflation was +0.2%, indicating the Fed remains on track in raising rates gradually. DJIA -171pts, 25,007 (-0.7%), Nasdaq Comp. -77pts, 7,511 (-1%).
Oil ends lower: Oil prices posted losses pressured by data from the Energy Information Administration to be released Wednesday morning with anticipations of higher output. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) shed $0.74 to $60.62/barrel.
TEL’s FINTQ gets CIMB for Lendr:
CIMB Group of Malaysia partnered with PLDT Inc. (TEL) FINTQ for the former’s lending business. The tie-up would enable CIMB to be a ‘digital-only-bank’ that can reach out to clients needing loan. FINTQ has its ‘Lendr’ platform where access to funding can be made via mobile phones.
GLO secures loan from Mizuho:
Globe Telecom, Inc. (GLO) signed P6bn & US$20mn, 7-year term loan with Mizuho Bank Ltd. that will partly finance capex.
AEV gets more UBP shares at P90.75 apiece:
Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) bought 3.113mn UBP shares at P90.75 last 13 Mar. 2018. The shares are equivalent to 0.3% of UBP’s issued & outstanding capital stock.
MWC will effect FCDA adjustment in bills:
Manila Water Company, Inc. (MWC) notified the Exchange of its P0.59/cu.m. foreign currency differential adjustment (FCDA) effective 01 April 2018. The amount will be 2.31% of the basic charge. The FCDA has no impact on MWC’s income.
CHIB issued clarification on capex plan: China Banking Corp. (CHIB) has allowed P1.8bn in capex for 2018, contrary to reports of P50bn.
PHA invests in limestone-rich MPSA firms:
Premiere Horizon Alliance Corp. (PHA)’s board approved to buy up to 85% of Palawan Star Mining Ventures & Pyramid Hill Mining Industrial Corp., holders of 10,384ha. MPSA limestone deposits in Southern Palawan. Pre-commercial dev’t. cost is estimated at P500mn that will include among others, limestone resource generation, feasibility & other gov’t. permits. The investment will cover cement production, lime production & biomass plantation projects.
FNI follow-on gets SEC’s nod:
Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc. (FNI) already secured SEC’s clearance on the follow-on offer of up to 250mn common shares. No other details were given.
Fitch arm sees new corp. tax reform weighing on businesses:
Fitch unit, Business Monitor Int’l., said the revised corp. tax reform plan could weigh on the Philippine’s competitiveness as conditional corp. tax cut & repeal of fiscal incentives would create uncertainties. The orig. proposal called for a cut in corp. taxes from 30% to 25%. Also, DoF wants to limit PEZA incentives to max. of 10 years & revise 5% tax on gross income to 15%.
BSP may not follow US Federal Reserves’ moves on policy rates:
BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla maintained BSP’s policy decisions are independent of the US Fed as it assesses data based on the local economy conditions thus BSP may not necessarily follow policy rates increases by US Federal Reserves.