We are roughly half way through the Singapore earnings season. Next week three more Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) companies will step into the spotlight. They are Hutchison Port Holdings (SGX: NS8U), SIA Engineering Company (SGX: S59) and StarHub (SGX: CC3).
Probably the most closely watched of the three companies could be Singapore’s second-largest telecom operator, StarHub. In November, the company said it intends to maintain its annual dividend payment of S$0.20 per share, which could help to reassure shareholders.
However, revenues are unlikely to have grown from last year, which under the constraints of a competitive landscape is hardly a disaster. That said, the company’s outlook for the next 12 months could be crucial.
Results are also on tap from Singapore Post (SGX: S08). The logistics firm reported a rise in revenues, which was driven primarily by growth in eCommerce. Continued improvement in this sector will be eyed, especially in terms of profitability, which is still lagging top-line growth.
On the economic front, the US Federal Reserve will announce its latest interest-rate decision on Wednesday. It will be first Fed meeting since Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the US. Currently, the market expects no change this month to the fed Fund rate. But it is also anticipating that it could lift the cost of borrowing as many as three times this year.
Japan has an interest-rate decision to make too, as does the Bank of England. Chances are that the BoJ interest rates will keep rates at -0.01% and the long-term bond yield will be held at around zero percent. There are signs that the economy is starting to pick up, so the BoJ is unlikely to rock the boat too much.
The Bank of England is unlikely to do anything out of the ordinary, either. The bank base rate could be kept at 0.25%, while Quantitative could be maintained at £435 billion. The level of UK interest rates appears to be at odds with the rate of inflation though, which stood at 1.6% last month.
Despite the long Spring holiday break in China the country will still be reporting the closely-watched manufacturing and services PMI figures. As always, any number above 50 will signal expansion, which should please the market.
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