News Highlights: Pilipinas Shell (SHLPH) confirmed its discussions with Phil. National Oil Co. (PNOC) for a possible partnership to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Batangas. Meanwhile, 1Q GDP slowed to 6.4% with Socioeconomic Planning chief Ernesto Pernia pointing out the growth from last year was high amid election spending, in which the impact has already dissipated.
Mart dragged by lower 1Q GDP, PSEi @7,757: Local mart lose traction from its two-day rally after 1Q GDP posted a 6.4% growth, below the previous quarter’s reading at 6.6%. PSEi shed 68 points to close at 7,757 (-0.88% day-on-day), with all sectors ending lower, led by services (-0.69%) and industrial (-0.62%). Among actively-traded shares were: ALI (-P1.05 at P37.55); URC (-P0.30 at P158.90); and SMPH (-P0.30 at P32.50), on P7.49bn turnover. Losers decimated gainers, 124-74, with net foreign selling at P549.4mn.
Mart might rebound: Our local bourse is seen to rebound coming from yesterday’s global setback in equities. After the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported a lower-than-expected 1Q GDP of 6.4%, investors can now re-align their portfolios and accumulate stocks that have higher upside potential moving forward. Immediate support 7,700, resistance 7,820.
Marts declined anew on political noise: Marts across Asia ended lower as investors are concerned on the current political uncertainties over the White House, where US Pres. Trump defended his actions on sharing classified information with Russia and the recent uncovering of former FBI Director James Comey memo.
Equities rebound on optimism: Shares finished higher coming from the worst sell-off of 2017. Investors seem optimistic that Pres. Trump can move forward toward his fiscal agenda. On the economic front, weekly jobless claims reached 232,000, below the 240,000 estimates.
Crude settled higher on output cut pledges: Oil futures inched higher as investors await the OPEC meeting in Vienna on the 25th of May. Currently, Russia has pledged to extend output cut as far as March 2018. West Texas Intermediate for June increased by $0.28 to close at $49.35/barrel.
SHLPH open talks on LNG:
Pilipinas Shell (SHLPH) confirmed its discussions with Phil. National Oil Co. (PNOC) for a possible partnership to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Batangas. Shell Philippines Exploration B.V operates the Malampaya gas project in northwest Palawan with a 45% stake, while PNOC Exploration and Chevron hold 10% and 45% interests respectively. PNOC wanted to put up an LNG integrated facility and 200MW power plant in Batangas.
MER launches run-off-river hydro project:
Manila Electric Co. (MER) through joint venture, Pure Meridian Hydropower Corp., launches its 3MW run-off-river hydropower project in Lalawinan, Quezon Province. The project is in partnership with Repower Energy Development Corp., a unit of Pure Energy Holdings Corp.
EEI forms joint venture with Japanese company:
EEI Corporation (EEI) launched a joint venture between Equipment Engineers, Inc., subsidiary of EEI, Sansin Sangyo Co., Ltd. and KYC Machine Industry Co., Ltd. Sansin Sangyo is a leading scaffolding rental company, while KYC Machine is a manufacturer of shoring and scaffolding products. Both companies are based in Japan.
STR reports 41% growth in 1Q net income:
Starmalls, Inc. (STR) reported a net income of P489mn for 1Q17. This was 41% higher YoY. Revenues and EBITDA grew 48% to P1.4bn and 46% to P964mn, respectively. As of end-Mar, STR had 17 commercial assets in its portfolio.
Chelsea obtains $220mn financing from Bank of China:
Chelsea Logistics Corporation, a Dennis Uy-owned firm, secured a $220mn bridge loan from Bank of China Ltd. as part of the initial $3bn financial package the bank committed during Pres. Duterte’s visit to China in October. The proceeds would then be used for the acquisition of a 32% stake interest in 2Go Group through an affiliate. Note that Chelsea Logistics plans an initial public offering (IPO) next month.
Q1 GDP +6.4%:
1Q GDP slowed to 6.4% with Socioeconomic Planning chief Ernesto Pernia pointing out the growth from last year was high amid election spending, in which the impact has already dissipated. Moreover, he added that the changes in government and reorientation of programs would need time to settle as government spending slowed to 0.2% YoY. The figure was below the 6.8% growth a year ago and the 6.6% a quarter ago. It was also the slowest growth since the 6.3% posted in 4Q15.
Net foreign inflow recorded at $51mn:
BSP data showed that the country had a net inflow of $51mn in foreign portfolio investments in April, a reversal from the $460mn net outflows recorded in March and $354mn outflows from a year ago. However, the first four months of the year resulted in net outflows of $516mn on a year-to-date basis, vis-à-vis the $56mn net inflows for the same period in 2016.
PAGCOR sees P6bn from online gambling taxes:
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) expects to generate around P6Bn from online gambling taxes. PAGCOR has so far issued 42 offshore gaming licenses with 44 more applications pending its approval. Under Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) regulations, applicants are required to pay $50,000 for online casino operations and $40,000 for sports betting operations. Once the license is granted, the operator will need to pay an additional $200,000 for e-casino license and $150,000 for a sports betting license.