The Week Ahead: Keppel Corporation On Tap

Singapore earnings season moves into second gear with Keppel Corporation (SGX: BN4) stepping into the spotlight.

The industrial conglomerate appears to have weathered the downturn in the oil and gas sector. In October Keppel Corp said third-quarter profits jumped 30%, thanks to strong contributions from property, power and asset management. The offshore and marine sector was still smarting, though.

CapitaLand Mall Trust (SGX: C38U) will be the first of two CapitaLand (SGX: C31) real estate investment trusts to post quarterly earnings. The owner of 16 shopping malls delivered a distribution of 2.78 cents for the third quarter, which was unchanged from a year ago. On the upside, footfall was up, as was occupancy rate. But on the downside, gross revenues slipped 0.2%.

Results were better at CapitaLand Commercial Trust (SGX: C61U). In October, the office landlord said net property income grew 2.7% on the back of lower operating expenses. Consequently, it rewarded investors with a 2.6% rise in distributions per unit.

Ascendas REIT (SGX: A17U) said in October that net property income rose 5.3%, which allowed it to increase distribution per unit by 1.1%. The business space owner said the improvement in income was mainly due to newly-acquired properties in the past year.

On the economic front, the US will provide flash estimates for GDP growth in the fourth quarter. In the previous quarter, the American economy expanded at an annualised rate of 3.2%, which was slightly lower than market expectations.

The European Central Bank has an interest-rate decision to make. In a December it held the benchmark rate at 0%. It is expected to do the same this time. However, the bank raised its inflation forecast for 2018 from 1.2% to 1.4%, which has put the cat amongst the pigeons.

The Bank of a Japan has an interest-rate decision too. Last month, the central bank left interest rates unchanged at -0.1%. It also kept its 10-year government bond yield at around 0%. It is expected to sit on its hands again next week.

There will also be an interest-rate decision in Malaysia, where the central bank is expected to keep the cost of borrowing at 3%.

And lest you think that interest rates are low the world over, spare a thought for the people of Argentina, where the central bank is expected to keep interest rates at 28%, in Ukraine, where interest rates are 14.5%, in Malawi, where it stands at 16%, and Ghana, where the cost of borrowing is 20%.

The Motley Fool’s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your FREE subscription to Take Stock - Singapore, The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Written by David Kuo, Take Stock - Singapore tells you exactly what’s happening in today’s markets, and shows how you can GROW your wealth in the years ahead.

Like us on Facebook to keep up to date with our latest news and articles. The Motley Fool’s purpose is to help the world invest, better.

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 owns shares in CMT. The Motley Fool Singapore has recommended CMT.