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Next Week’s News Today: It’s Earnings Season Again

Singapore Press Holdings (SGX: T39) kicked off the blue-chips earnings season this week. Profits were down around a fifth as a result of lower property gains. But we all knew that was coming, anyway. A subdued property market meant lower fair value gains for the publisher and property owner.

Further insights into the state of the Singapore property market could be provided by Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (SGX: A17U), when it reports quarterly numbers on Thursday. In the previous quarter, the REIT, which focusses on business and industrial properties, posted a modest rise in revenues. More of the same would be nice.

Keppel Corporation (SGX: BN4) might have a thing or two to say about the property market, too. The industrial conglomerate that generates a-tenth of its revenues from property, now owns Keppel Land, which was acquired earlier this year.

Keppel Corporation, which has been hit by a slump in oil prices, has seen revenues decline for two successive quarters. With oil prices continuing to be under pressure, a reversal in Keppel’s fortunes is not exactly imminent. Another company that has been adversely affected by low oil prices is Sembcorp Marine (SGX: S51). It is pencilled in for numbers on Thursday.

Sticking with things close to water, Hutchison Port Holdings (SGX: NS8U) is expected to report numbers on Tuesday. The business trust, which operates four deep-water ports in China, appears quite resilient to the downturn in both exports and imports to the Middle Kingdom.

Elsewhere, Loh Boon Chye, the new boss at Singapore Exchange (SGX: S68), will present his first set of quarterly numbers. The stock exchange could have benefitted from the change in board lot size, which has opened up investing to a new crop of private investors. The exchange could also have benefitted from the recent stock-market volatility that has prompted more active traders to buy and sell shares.

Turning to matters economic, China will tell the world how quickly its economy grew in the third quarter. Any number around the 7% mark should quell market concerns about a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.

Closer to home, Singapore will report inflation numbers on Friday. The “Little Red Dot” has posted 10 consecutive quarters on falling prices. But still no mention of the “D” word.

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