News Highlights: Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) unit Aboitiz InfraCapital submitted an unsolicited proposal to upgrade, expand, operate & maintain Iloilo, Bacolod-Silay, Laguindingan & New Bohol Int’l Airport over a 35-year concession period. Cebu Air, Inc (CEB) obtained clearance from SEC for the incorporation of 1Aviation Groundhandling Services Corp. which will be fully-owned by CEB. Manila Water Company, Inc. (MWC)’s 95%-owned PT Manila Water Indonesia (PTMWI), bought 20% of PT Sarana Tirta Ungaran (STU). Malaysian firms Iris Corp. Bread & Positive Paragon Sendirian Bhd. signed an MoU with Cagayan Ecozone Authority (CEZA) as part of the airport management services for Cagayan North Int’l Airport. The unemployment rate fell to 5.3% from 6.6% in Jan 2017, according to the PSA’s January 2018 Labor Force Survey.
Last-minute push aided PSEi’s advance @8,404: Mart scored a slight gain Wednesday after a late rally that pushed the bourse to 8,404.69. Most of sector indices gained led by Financials (+1.29%) and Industrials (+0.62%). Among actively traded shares were: ALI (+P0.25 at P41.45), NOW (+P2.32 at P15.24), MRC (-P0.03 at P0.74), SM (+P9.00 at P958.00), and ION (+P0.31 at P2.65), on P8.63bn turnover. Losers outpaced gainers, 113-100, on P296mn net foreign selling.
Range-bound session: Another sideways session is seen, possibly with a downward bias, as players check on TEL’s earnings results. Volatility might prevail in forex movement, following the resignation of Trump's National Economic Council Director. Immediate support is 8,330, resistance 8,470.
Settled lower: Regional marts fell Wednesday, spooked by news that Gary Cohn would resign as President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser after he lost a fight over tariffs.
Mixed reactions on tariff exemptions: The prospective grant of import tariff exemption to Mexico & Canada drew mixed reactions in Wall Street & led to another volatile session. DJIA scored 82 points lower at 24,801 (-0.33%), Nasdaq Comp. +24pts, 7,396 (+0.33%).
Oil ended lower: Oil prices fell by more than 2% on Wednesday as concerns surrounding a possible trade war intensified and data revealed a fresh weekly record for domestic crude production. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) slid $1.45 to $61.15/barrel.
AEV submits proposal for airport upgrade:
Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV)’s unit Aboitiz InfraCapital submitted an unsolicited proposal to upgrade, expand, operate & maintain Iloilo, Bacolod-Silay, Laguindingan & New Bohol Int’l Airport over a 35-year concession period. The P148bn multi-phased project will include the concept of ‘green airports’ with estimated completion seen as early as 2021.
CEB formed ground handling unit:
Cebu Air, Inc (CEB) obtained clearance from SEC for the incorporation of 1Aviation Groundhandling Services Corp. which will be fully-owned by CEB.
MWC unit gets equity in STU:
Manila Water Company, Inc. (MWC)’s 95%-owned PT Manila Water Indonesia (PTMWI), bought 20% of PT Sarana Tirta Ungaran (STU). STU is a bulk water supply firm servicing PDAM Kabupaten Semarang & industrial clients in Bawen, Central Java, with capacity of 21.5mn liters/day. The transaction will be paid via internal cash.
SHLPH entered BPI loan agreement:
Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. (SHLPH) entered into a medium-term loan agreement with BPI for P9bn. Gearing ratio will remain the same.
PIP confirmed request for corn syrup reclassification:
Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc. (PIP) clarified to the Exchange that their imported high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in 2017 were categorized as ‘class D’, or for export/sale abroad. PIP has then requested the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) to reclassify this to ‘B’, or for domestic use. An article came out indicating that PIP sought clearance from SRA to reduce its taxes on the item.
DNL confirmed earnings growth outlook:
D&L Industries, Inc. (DNL) confirmed that it sees 10% growth in net earnings for 2018 at P3.2bn.
Companies with ex-cash dividend today:
BDO P0.30/share, payable 28 Mar. PX P0.04/share, payable 26 Mar.
Malaysian firms signed a MoU with CEZA for airport management services in Cagayan North International airport:
Malaysian firms Iris Corp. Bread & Positive Paragon Sendirian Bhd. signed a MoU with Cagayan Ecozone Authority (CEZA) for the installation of hardware & equipment, software work stations & passport & travel card readers as part of the airport management services for Cagayan North Int’l Airport. This is prior to the maiden flight to Macau scheduled on 23 Mar. Meanwhile, Cagayan Business Aviation Centre, a group of local & foreign firms, submitted a proposal to upgrade the Lal-lo airport. The said airport has been cleared to begin operating commercial flights for A320 & B737 planes.
Unemployment rate for Jan 2018 at 5.3%:
The unemployment rate fell to 5.3% from 6.6% in Jan 2017, according to the PSA’s January 2018 Labor Force Survey. Among the employed, 50% were from the services sector, 26% from agriculture, the balance in industry (primarily in manufacturing and construction subsectors). In terms of compensation, 61.7% of working Filipinos are salaried employees, the rest self-employed and unpaid family workers.