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The Week in Numbers: Singapore Companies Go Global

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Singapore companies have been on a global acquisition spree. Companies in Singapore have announced US$91 billion (S$125.7 billion) of overseas deals this year through September. The figure is more than double the US$41.9 billion recorded in the corresponding period last year.

Total number of deals increased 7.8% from last year to 468. The higher number of deals in Singapore far outpaced global merger & acquisition, which only increased 2%. China continues to be a prime target for Singapore companies, as many Chinese companies sell off assets to strengthen their balance sheets. Firms from Singapore have been involved in 68 acquisitions of Chinese companies year-to-date. The volume of such transactions increased more than five-fold from US$3.8 billion to US$19.5 billion.

Aston Martin made its much-anticipated debut on the London stock market on Wednesday. The IPO price was £19, valuing the firm at £4.3 billion. Its shares ended the day at £18.10. The company has had a troubled past, despite the illustrious history and association with James Bond films. It has gone bust seven times in its 105-year history. The share sale raised around £1 billion for the firm, with 27% of the company now publicly traded. Aston Martin reported half-year profit of £42 million.

China’s manufacturing sector slowed in September. Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) stood at 50.8 (a reading above 50 signals growth) compared to 51.3 in August and lower than the median estimate of 51.2. The continued trade war between China and the United States has hindered growth. New export orders in the manufacturing PMI report fell to 48, the fourth straight month of contraction and its lowest reading in two years. The official non-manufacturing PMI was 54.9, reflecting still strong domestic demand for services and construction.

Meanwhile, private home prices in Singapore inched up 0.5% sequentially in the third quarter of the year. This was a sharp slowdown from the 3.4% and 3.9% rise recorded in the first and second quarters respectively. The slowdown was largely due to the new property cooling measures implemented in July. In total, private home prices are up 7.9% so far this year. Flash data showed that prices of condominiums and private apartments rose 1.2% in the core central region, while prices in the city fringe fell 0.8%. Prices in the suburbs edged up 0.1%.

And lastly, major financial analysts have turned cautious on China stocks, citing the likelihood of a full-blown trade war between the United States and China. Last week, the Trump administration imposed a 10% tariff on about US$200 billion of Chinese goods, while China responded with duties on US$60 billion of US products. JP Morgan has revised its forecast for economic growth in China to 6.1% from 6.2%, and slashed its earnings estimates for the MSCI China Index.

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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 owns shares in any companies mentioned.