The Week Ahead: Will Singtel Deliver?
There are just a handful of Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) companies left to report, before the curtain comes down on another quarter of earnings.
In the last quarter, Singapore Telecoms (SGX: Z74) was mildly affected by adverse currency movements. Singapore’s largest telecom operator said in February that third-quarter net profit fell 1.7%.
The owner of Australia’s Optus attributed the decline to a one-off tax credit in the previous year and its acquisition of a controlling stake in Trustwave. Looking ahead, the company said the growth story in the developing markets where it operates remains “compelling”.
Airport services company SATS (SGX: S58) was able to deliver higher profits despite flat turnover growth in the last quarter. It was able to reduce expenditure in most categories except staff costs and depreciation and amortisation charges. SATS added that it expects the operating environment to be challenging, as airline margins come under increasing pressure.
Sticking with things that fly, Singapore Airlines (SGX: C6L) said in February that 2017 would be another challenging year. It said loads and yields for both the passenger and cargo business are projected to remain under pressure.
Other companies with results include Global Logistic Properties (SGX: MC0) and Golden Agri-Resources (SGX: E5H).
On the economic front, it is time for those year-on-year retail sales figures from China again. In March, they grew 10.9%, which was the fastest monthly increase since December 2016. The growth was driven by a rebound in car sales and a quickening in sales of garments and home appliances.
Japan is expected to say that its economy grew 1.5% in the first quarter. That would make it the fifth straight quarter of expansion. It would be a vindication of the BoJ’s strategy of aggressive Quantity Easing. But the Land of the Rising Sun will be hoping that the sun doesn’t set on its exports to the US, following Donald Trump’s threats of protectionism.
Staying in Asia, the Thai economy is expected to have grown at an annualised rate of 3.3% in the first three months of this year. That would be the fastest rate of growth for four years. Exports from South-East Asia’s second-largest economy are expected to have recovered after years of weakness.