The Week in Numbers: Koufu Group Limited Goes Public

United States President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday for their first official talks. The meeting came just days after the US charged 12 Russian intelligence officers with hacking. It also appeared that Mr Trump defended Russia over claims of interference in the 2016 presidential elections. The last time President Vladimir Putin had a joint press conference with a US leader was nearly 10 years ago in 2008.

The bike-sharing sector has reduced its expansion plans in Asia. This month, Ofo announced that it would close its six-month old operations in India, Sydney and Adelaide within two months. It also plans to reduce operations in four regions — Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong. This is an abrupt change from 2017 when it said it had initial plans to place 20 million bikes in 20 countries by the end of 2017.

Over the past two years, the Asia Pacific region has had a surge of investments, resulting in 60 platforms building up bike fleets. The two largest firms in China, Mobike and Ofo, raised nearly US$2 billion last year alone. However, the industry faced a rude awakening with Hong Kong start-ups, GoBee and Bluegogo, which once had 20 million riders, going bust. In Singapore, oBike had to close down abruptly. This left many users unable to get a refund on their S$49 deposit. In total, the company owes S$6.3 million in deposits to users.

Koufu Group Limited (SGX: VL6) made its debut on the local stock market by opening at 65 cents on Wednesday, boosting the total number of stocks in the consumer cluster here to 152 listings. This sector has a combined market capitalisation of more than S$135 billion. Koufu was founded some 16 years ago by husband and wife team, Mr Pang Lim and Ms Ng Hoon Tien, who remain in charge till this day.

Singapore non-oil domestic exports (NODX) increased 1.1% year-on-year in June, a steep deceleration from the 15.5% surge in May. Non-electronics NODX grew by 4.6%, while electronics declined by 7.9%. The slump was largely due to lower exports of integrated circuits, parts of PCs and consumer electronics. Non-oil re-exports rose 5.1% in June, after a 4% increase in May.

Still in Singapore, 41.7% fewer homes were sold by developers in June compared to May. Buyers bought 654 new private residential units in June, 20.2% less than a year ago. Based on URA preliminary estimates, developers sold 4,090 private homes and 1,046 executive condominium (EC) units in the first six months of the year, down from 6,039 private homes and 2,026 EC units over the same period last year. Analysts believe that July will show an increase in month-on-month sales due to the surge in demand the day before the property cooling measures kicked in. However, demand will taper in the following months.

Finally, China’s economy grew 6.7% in the second quarter of 2018, down 0.1 percentage point from 6.8% recorded in the first quarter. Growth remained higher than the government’s annual target of 6.5%. The trade conflict with the US, however, continues to threaten growth. There are already some signs of slowing growth as investments in fixed assets grew 6.0%, its slowest pace since data was collected nearly 20 years ago. Factory activity also slowed in June, following an eight-month high in May.

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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 contributor Jeremy Chia doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.