Indonesian President Joko Widodo seems to have secured another five years in office. The “quick counts” showed Mr Joko winning the popular vote with at least 54% of the votes or around eight percentage points over former general and closest rival, Prabowo Subianto, who was also narrowly defeated in the last election five years ago. The financial market reacted positively, with the Jakarta stock index rising 1.5% and rupiah opening 0.57% up against the dollar after the news.
Meanwhile, Singapore non-oil oil domestic exports (Nodx) shrunk 11.7% in March from a year ago, its biggest year-on-year decline in more than five years. The decline was worse than the 2.2% drop expected by analysts polled by Bloomberg and followed a 4.8% rise in February.
The decline in Nodx was led by a 26.7% plunge in electronics exports, with exports of personal computers, integrated circuits and disc media products declining 46.3%, 22.2% and 40.3% respectively. Non-electronic exports declined 7% on year, mostly due to pharmaceuticals (-36.5%), specialised machinery (-24.4%) and petrochemicals (-15.1%).
In a shock move, early investors of Lyft’s initial public offering has sued the company in two separate class-action complaints against the company, its officers, directors and underwriters. Since its public offering on March 28, Lyft has declined 17% to US$59.91, compared to its offering price of US$72.
The suit claimed that Lyft exaggerated its prospectus when saying it had a 39% market share in the US and failed to tell investors that it was recalling more than 1,000 bikes on its rideshare program.
Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SGX: T39) has acquired another portfolio of United Kingdom student housing for S$236.5 million. This brings its total bed count at its UK student accommodation portfolio up to 5,059 from 1,243 beds. The acquisition was completed on Tuesday, and SPH said that the assets under management are now over S$600 million, which establishes SPH as a leading purpose-built student accommodation player in the United Kingdom.
China’s economy grew by 6.4% in the first quarter of 2019. The pace of growth at the world’s second-largest economy matched that of the corresponding period last year. While sales figures were positive, and factory output ticking up, analysts have warned that the positive numbers are also due to the hundreds of billions of dollars Beijing is pumping into the economy. The latest round of government-driven expansionary policy was remarkable in size as total social financing jumped to US$1.2 trillion, while bank lending hit a record high of US$865 billion.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development revised its outlook for China’s growth to 6.2% for this year and 6% for 2020.
Haidilao International Holding chairman Zhang Yong and his wife Shu Ping have grown their net worth by US$5.6 billion in 2019, a 74% gain. Only Australian mining baron Andrew Forrest’s wealth grew at a faster pace.
Haidilao went public last September. In 2018, revenue surged 60% to 17 billion yuan, and the company’s stock is up more than 77% this year. It has a market capitalisation of US$21 billion and valued at 47 times projected earnings for this year. China’s hotpot market is expected to grow at more than 10% per year, with revenue expected to exceed 700 billion yuan by 2020.
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