News Highlights: U.S. equities ended higher on Thursday as investors eased out their fears on the possibility of a full-blown trade war between the U.S. and China. On the local market, NEDA has endorsed the P735.63bn Bulacan int’l airport project of San Miguel Corp. (SMC) for Pres. Duterte’s approval. Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) said DoLE order is not yet final & executory & the matter is pending appeal. Meanwhile, PSA reported higher consumer prices for March at 4.3%, after alcoholic beverages & tobacco rose 18.6%.
Bourse finished higher, PSEi @8,022: Local equities scored on the green side, as buyers focused more on upside potentials in select stocks. The PSEi breached an intra-day high of 8,044, before closing 24 points up at 8,022 (+0.31%). Holdings (+0.63%), property (+0.24%) & financials (+0.24%) led the ascent. Among the gainers in actively-traded shares were: BPI (+P0.50 at P108); SM (+P14 at P974); ICT (+P1.70 at P100); & SECB (+P3 at P232.60). Market breadth favoured bears, 103-83, on P5.13bn turnover.
Support for gains: Dialogues with China on its trade dispute with the US plus encouraging expectations on 1Q results might aid local equities’ advance. Participants might start to refocus on positive angles in select shares, as growth potentials are revisited. Hunt for shares with solid upside potentials & trade the range. Immediate support is 8,000, resistance 8,070-8,150.
Ended strong amidst trade tariffs issues: Asian stocks rose Thursday as investors have a reversal in sentiment after indications showing U.S. and China are open to negotiations rather than intensifying threatened tit-for-tat trade tariffs.
US equities rose: Optimism on 1Q earnings lifted Wall Street higher. Also, White House plans to hold talks with China that will be led by Treas. chief Mnuchin & Trade Rep. Lighthizer. DJIA +240pts, 24,5050 (+0.99%), Nasdaq Comp. +34pts, 7,076 (+0.5%).
Oil recovers: Oil prices slightly rose on Thursday, regaining some lost ground as worries of a U.S.-China trade war appeared to ease somewhat. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) inched up $0.17 to $63.54/barrel.
Bulacan airport gets NEDA clearance:
NEDA has endorsed the P735.63bn Bulacan int’l airport project of San Miguel Corp. (SMC) for Pres. Duterte’s approval. The plan is to build a terminal by 2023, for 100mn passengers on 1,168 aerotropolis site in Bulakan, Bulacan’s 2,500ha.
JFC underscores they’re compliant with DoLE:
Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) said DoLE order is not yet final & executory & the matter is pending appeal. JFC stressed they are compliant with the law & remains cooperative with all DoLE requirements & procedures.
FDC unit gets Pagcor license:
Pagcor granted provisional license to Filinvest Development Corp. (FDC) & subsidiary Mimosa Cityscapes (MC) for an integrated resort within Filinvest Mimosa Plus + Leisure City. MC has set $200mn min. investment for the project that will cover a casino, lifestyle mall, 5-star hotel in Clark Special EcoZone. It will also cover Quest Hotel’s renovation, & 2 golf courses & villas.
AGI to spend P80bn in Capex for 2018.
Alliance Global Group Inc. (AGI) is spending P80bn this year, 14% higher than its actual spending in 2017 close to P70bn, to further beef up its property and gaming resort businesses. 75% will go to Megaworld Corp. (MEG) while 15% will be allotted for Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc. (RWM) for the completion of its Grand Wing (Phase 3) development.
ALI seals Tarlac lot purchase:
Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) already signed a Deed of Absolute Sale with CAT for 290ha. of land in Bgy. Central, Tarlac.
AC energy arm plans capacity expansion:
From its 2,000MW target in 2020, AC Energy aims to boost capacity to 5,000MW by 2025 by growing in the Phils. & the region. The plan will involve $2bn in equity. The firm presently has 1,300MW generating capacity & 300MW RE.
RRHI plans share-swap for Rustan purchase:
Following Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. (RRHI)’s share-swap buy-in into Rustan Supercenters, Inc. (RSCI), the value of Dairy Farm’s full ownership in RSCI is approx. P18bn. As such, certain members of the Gokongwei family intend to sell some of their shares to GHC Investments Pte Ltd., also a fully-owned member of Dairy Farm, that would lead to the Gokongweis owning 51% of the expanded capital of RRHI, Dairy Farm at 18.25%. The transaction is subject to approval from PCC & SEC.
PNB prepares US$1bn euro notes:
Philippine National Bank (PNB)’s board approved the set up of US$1bn Euro Medium-Term Note (EMTN) program. No other data was given.
DMPL changes stock symbol:
Del Monte Pacific Limited (DMPL) will change its stock symbol to DELM. No date has been given yet on the effectivity of the change.
BRN clarifies Marawi reconstruction consortium:
A Brown Company, Inc. (BRN) will not take part in the group that reportedly will handle rebuilding Marawi with China State Construction Eng’g, among others. The reconstruction cost was estimated at P17.1bn.
FNI updates China ore shipment:
Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc. (FNI) subsidiary, Platinum Group Metals (PGMC), completed its 1st shipment last 04 April, to China. PGMC targets 6mn WMT ore shipment this year.
SHNG issued clarification on Boracay:
Shang Properties, Inc. (SHNG) clarified to the Exchange they have no involvement in the operations & business of Shangri-La Boracay, as this is owned by Makati Shangri-La Hotel & Resort. Reports were released Boracay will be closed for 6 months from 26 April 2018, to allow gov’t. to rehabilitate the area.
DWC to be affected by Boracay closure:
Discovery World Corp. (DWC) said Boracay’s 6-month closure would significantly affect operations, but the firm has enough liquid assets to sustain requirements. DWC’s expansion in Palawan & other areas, would also allow them to spread operational risks. DW added, the move would provide time to accelerate their renovation & prepare for re-opening.
2GO Group, Inc. (2GO) will merge with Negros Navigation (NN) via a share-swap, with 2GO as surviving entity. Based on plans, the swap will be 0.26 NN for one 2GO share.
LBC buys into QuadX.
LBC Express Holdings, Inc. (LBC)’s board approved the investment & purchase of 86% in QuadX Pte. Ltd. by buying shares held by Fernando Gonzalez Araneta & unissued capital of QuadX for US$1/share. QuadX produces ATV accessories & quad equipment, suited for agri industry, landscapers, amenities, smallholders & equestrian market.
Companies with Ex-dividend on 10 April:
TEL P28, payable 27 Apr. MRSGI P0.06, payable 02 May. SECB P0.50 special + P1 regular, payable 26 Apr.
March inflation @4.3%:
PSA reported higher consumer prices for March at 4.3%, after alcoholic beverages & tobacco rose 18.6%. This brought 1Q18 inflation at 3.8%. BSP meanwhile, said they will continually assess the situation & counting on non-monetary measures to mitigate ‘inflationary impulses’ such as institutional arrangements on transpo fares & min. wages; unconditional cash transfers & transport subsidies.
Pasig Ferry soon:
Ten agencies primed by DBM will undertake the Pasig River ferry system that will be bidded out mid-2018. The plan covers 17 new stations (on 12 existing) over the next 4 years that can serve up to 76,800 passengers daily. There will also be 12 new bridges that will be built by DPWH across Pasig River, 2 of which will be financed via grant by China, another grant is preliminary being discussed with France.