News Highlights: Meralco (MER) net income for the 1Q rose by 6% to P4.8bn amid higher electricity sales, while Belle Corporation (BEL) reported a consolidated net income of P783mn for 1Q17, nearly double the P413mn it posed in 1Q16. Meanwhile, First Gen Corp. (FGEN) raises $500mn via 7-year term loan facility in various banks through its wholly-owned First Gas Corp. to refinance existing debts.
Local equities gained, PSEi @7,588: Market managed to stay positive as it cautiously waits on any global indications that might affect overall market sentiment. PSEi rose 10 points to 7,588 (+0.14% day-on-day) with sectors mostly on green territory. Among actively-traded shares were: SM (-P1.50 at P709.50); MRC (+P0.055 at P0.435); and SECB (-P3.40 at P212), on P5.1bn turnover. Losers-gainers recorded at 109-84, while net foreign inflows were registered at P153mn.
1st batch of earnings might provide better gauge: Local bourses might managed to stay positive today with Wall Street harnessing optimism on the turnout of the French polls, while banking on US Pres. Trump’s massive tax plan. Meanwhile at home, the first few earnings results might provide some gauge for investors on the health of our local prospects. However, political noise surrounding the ICC complaint against Pres. Duterte and its timing on the ASEAN summit might yield some pessimism on the local bourse. For now, investors might want to ride on some trading opportunities, but must also heed caution on some externalities following local and global developments. Immediate support, 7,550, resistance at 7,620.
Positive spillover from French polls: Most regional markets rode on the surge following the results of the latest French presidential polls, yet China stocks took a downturn as its regulators gave no signs on easing the intensity of their campaign on stricter supervision for its local bourse. Meanwhile, Jakarta market is closed amid the observance of Ascension of the Prophet Muhammad.
Equities surged after French presidential polls: US equities surged after the first round of voting showed centrist Emmanuel Macron leading the French Presidential polls. The final runoff for candidates Macron and Marine Le Pen would be on 7 May. Meanwhile, reports saying that US President Trump unveiling its massive tax cut program on Wednesday provided much relief on investors’ worries.
Increasing US oil output continued to hurt prices: Oil futures scored lower amid continued worries that rising US production could outweigh OPEC’s efforts to curb oil production. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for June delivery fell $0.39 to $49.23/barrel.
MER 1Q income +6%:
Meralco (MER) net income for the 1Q rose by 6% to P4.8bn amid higher electricity sales. Core net income, however, was flat as operating and business conditions provided some challenges for the quarter. Despite these challenges, energy sales still grew on the back of growth on MER’s customer base and strong consumer spending.
BEL makes P783mn profit for 1Q17:
Belle Corporation (BEL) reported a consolidated net income of P783mn for 1Q17, nearly double the P413mn it posed in 1Q16. Excluding the extraordinary items, specifically the P23mn capital gain from the sale of 1.7mn shares of SM Prime Holdings (SMPH), recurring income was P760mn, 84% higher YoY. The operating growth was primarily fueled by the growth in revenues from City of Dreams Manila.
FGEN raises $500mn debt facility:
First Gen Corp. (FGEN) raises $500mn via 7-year term loan facility in various banks through its wholly-owned First Gas Corp. to refinance existing debts. Proceeds will be used to finance First Gas’ existing debt of approximately $243mn, a portion of which would also go to FGEN’s existing loans, while pre-funding upcoming maturities.
GTCAP's transfer of ownership approved by BSP:
The central bank (BSP) approved the transfer of 9.62% stake or 360mn shares of Metropolitan Bank (MBT) to GT Capital (GTCAP).
HOUSE to launch Mactan, Cebu Project:
8990 Holdings (HOUSE) is launching DECA Homes Mactan Prime and Urban DECA Homes Mactan in Lapu Lapu City. DECA Homes Mactan Prime and Urban DECA Homes Mactan, combined, account for close to 70% of the HOUSE’s current pipeline in Cebu at a project cost of approximately P7bn. These two projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
DMPL appointed Gene Allen as new CFO:
Del Monte Pacific (DMPL) announced that it has appointed Mr. Gene Allen as the company's unit Del Monte Foods (DMFI) new Chief Financial Officer (CFO), replacing Mr. Paul Miller following his retirement.
Gov’t sold P15bn worth of treasury bills:
The government sold P15bn worth of treasury bills on Monday’s auction amid strong reception from investors. 91-day, 182-day and 364-day fetched the rates of 2.299%, 2.638%, and 2.989% respectively.