The Week Ahead: Has Keppel Corporation Turned The Corner?

The Singapore earnings season moves into first gear with three Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) companies stepping up to the crease.

Industrial conglomerate Keppel Corporation (SGX: BN4) will report on Thursday. In July, the company said second-quarter profits fell by over a fifth. Group revenues slipped around 4%. This was largely caused by a 38% drop in turnover at its offshore and marine division. Thankfully, its property division saved the day thanks to higher revenue in Singapore. Brokers are more optimistic about its future.

In July, shopping centre owner CapitaLand Mall Trust (SGX: C38U) said it was preparing for an upturn. It said it was exploring ways to optimise operations across its portfolio in anticipation of a pick-up in the economy. Its confidence in the resilience of Singapore consumers could be well founded. According to the Department of Statistics, Singapore retail sales in August were up 3.5% from a year ago.

CapitaLand Commercial Trust (SGX: C61U) increased its distribution by 3.2% in July, thanks to a better performance and contribution by CapitaGreen. The REIT also said its committed occupancy rate of 97.6% was better than the market’s 94.1%. Last month, Singapore’s largest office landlord announced the purchase of Asia Square Tower 2 for S$2.09 billion.

Elsewhere, China will kick off its carefully-orchestrated 19th Party Congress on Wednesday. The twice-a-decade meeting of communist bigwigs will probably rubber-stamp President Xi as the chosen one for a very long time. There could more details about fly-swatting as the Party sets out plans to rid the country of corruption.

During the week, China will also announce its latest inflation numbers, third-quarter economic growth rates and retail sales. These are all expected to show that the country is growing nicely, that inflation is under control and that retail sales are healthy.

The UK will report inflation numbers on Tuesday. These are expected to show a rise in the cost of living, which could put pressure on the Bank of England to raise interest rates. That’s the last thing the UK needs. But if the rate of inflation should rise above 3%, it would be the highest for around three years.

Japanese voters will elect its next government on Sunday. It is looking likely that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set for victory. This election has largely been about Abenomics, which is focussed on monetary easing, government spending and structural reforms, versus Tokyo governor, Yuriko Koike’s, Yurinomics, which hopes to revitalise the private sector.

Finally Singapore will post the final reading of its Residential Property Index. In the last estimate, URA said property prices are reckoned to have grown 0.5%, quarter-on-quarter. It was the first increase since the third quarter of 2013.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore Director David Kuo doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.