Next Week’s News Today: Singapore Airlines Set To Climb


There are only a few more Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) companies that need to report results before we are done and dusted for this quarter.

Amongst the few remaining blue chips are Genting Singapore (SGX: G13), which will report on Tuesday and ComfortDelGro (SGX: C52), which has numbers on Wednesday.

But the spotlight next week could be on Singapore Telecommunications (SGX: Z74). Singapore’s largest telecom company has seen its shares climb from around S$3.90 a pop at the start of the year to over S$4.50 last month. Last month, SingTel announced plans to delist from the Australian stock exchange because of low trading volume.

Fans of Singapore Airlines (SGX: C6L) will be hoping for another steady climb in quarterly profits, which would make it four on the spin. In the last quarter of 2013, bottom-line profits came in at S$27m. But by the third quarter of 2014, it had jumped to S$202m, thanks to a 13% rise in revenues and a 54% jump in gross profits.

There is probably one important set of numbers from the US to look out for next week. It could provide some important clues as to when or even whether US interest rates should rise.

The monthly retail sales on Wednesday might tell us just how confident American consumers are feeling about their economy. After three months of declines, retail sales rebounded strongly in March. So another set of good numbers for April could just nudge the Federal Reserve in the direction of an early rate hike.

Meanwhile Singapore will report retail sales for March on Friday. Last month, Statistics Singapore said retail sales rose 15.8% in February, thanks to the Chinese New Year effect. Shorn of the festive effect, the numbers might not look as bright.

And finally, it will still be business as normal for the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street next week. Following the spectacular Conservative party victory in the UK General Election this week, the Bank of England will have to decide what to do with interest rates next.

The central bank has kept interest at a record low of 0.5% for six years and there are scant signs that the Monetary Policy Committee will hike the cost of borrowing while inflation is stuck at 0%.

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