PublicInvest Research

PublicInvest Research Headlines - 30 Mar 2022

Publish date: Wed, 30 Mar 2022, 10:19 AM
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US: Consumer confidence unexpectedly improves in March. The Conference Board released a report showing an unexpected improvement in US consumer confidence in the month of March. The report showed the Conference Board's consumer confidence index rose to 107.2 in March from a revised 105.7 in Feb. The increase came as a surprise to economists, who had expected the index to dip to 107.0 in March from the 110.5 originally reported for the previous month. (RTT)

EU: Germany import price inflation moderates in Feb. Germany's import price inflation moderated slightly in Feb but remained at an elevated level, data from Destatis showed. Import prices grew 26.3% on a yearly basis in Feb, slower than the 26.9% increase in Jan. (RTT)

EU: French consumer confidence wilts in March on inflation fears. French consumer confidence fell in March to its lowest point in a little more than a year as inflation fears surged to their highest level ever, a monthly survey showed. The INSEE official stats agency said its consumer confidence index fell to 91 points from 97 in Feb, plunging steeply in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (Reuters)

UK: Mortgage approvals unexpectedly fall; consumer credit rises. UK mortgage approvals unexpectedly declined in Feb and consumer credit growth accelerated amid rising cost of living, data from the BOE showed. Approvals for house purchases, an indicator of future borrowing, fell to 71,000 in Feb from 73,800 in Jan. Approvals were forecast to rise to 74,850. Net borrowing of mortgage debt by individuals decreased to GBP4.7bn in Feb from GBP5.9bn in Jan. (RTT)

Japan: Unemployment rate eases to 2.7% in Feb. The jobless rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 2.7% in March, the Ministry of Communications and Internal Affairs said. That was beneath expectations for 2.8%, which would have been unchanged from the Jan reading. The job-to-applicant ratio was 1.21, which beat forecasts for 1.20 - which was the same as the previous month. (RTT)

South Korea: Consumer confidence ticks higher in March. Consumer confidence in South Korea saw a slight improvement in March, the latest survey from the BOK showed with a score of 103.2 - up from 103.1 in Feb. Consumer sentiment for current living standards was unchanged at 90, while the outlook was one point lower than in Feb, at 95. (RTT)

Australia: Retail sales jump in Feb, augur well for 1Q growth. Australian retail sales beat forecasts again in Feb as shoppers defied storms and coronavirus waves to return to cafes and department stores for the second-best month ever of spending. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed retail sales climbed 1.8% in Feb from the previous month to AUD33.1bn (USD24.76bn), handily beating forecasts of a 1.0% gain. (Reuters)

Singapore: Producer price inflation rises in Feb. Singapore's producer price inflation increased marginally in Feb, data from the Department of Statistics showed. The manufacturing producer price index rose 18.1% YoY in Feb, following an 18.0% increase in Jan. The oil index surged 53.0% annually in Feb and the non-oil indexes increased 13.4%. (RTT)


Axiata (Neutral, TP: RM4.30): Court grants three Tune Talk shareholders injunction blocking sale of Celcom's stake in MVNO. The High Court (commercial division) granted an injunction preventing Celcom Mobile’s 5.25m shares in Tune Talk from being included in the sale of Celcom Axiata to Digi.Com. The injunction was sought by three shareholders of the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), namely Padda Gurtaj Singh, East Pacific Capital Pte Ltd and Tune Strategic Investments Ltd. (The Edge)

Comment: This 5.25m shares represents 35% stake in Tune Talk, held via Celcom Mobile, a wholly-owned unit of Celcom Axiata. The proposed Celcom-Digi merger includes this 35% stake but not the remaining 65% stake held by other shareholders. Generally, we believe this is not likely to derail the proposed merger as the value of the stake is relatively small compared to the entire merger value. Maintain Neutral on both Axiata and Digi.

FGV Holdings (Neutral, TP: RM1.71): Collaborates with Padiberas Nasional to strengthen fragrant rice industry. FGV Holdings (FGV) has teamed with Padiberas Nasional (Bernas) in a strategic move to strengthen Malaysia's fragrant rice industry. FGV's subsidiary FGV Integrated Farming Holdings SB signed a memorandum of collaboration with Bernas to produce Malaysian fragrant rice with local paddy farmers. (BTimes)

Capital A (Neutral, TP: RM0.69): Airline arm says over 99% of guest queries and refund requests resolved. Capital A’s airline arm AirAsia Aviation Group Ltd (AAAGL) said it had resolved over 99% of guest queries and refund requests set off by the Covid-19 pandemic over the past two years. The airline had spoken to over five million guests since the start of the pandemic and settled the vast majority of requests relating to cancelled flights by issuing credit accounts, cash refunds or flight changes. (The Edge)

Iris: Enters into addendum contract with Tanzania's NIDA for USD39.70m. Iris Corp has entered into a contract addendum with Tanzania's National Identification Authority (NIDA) to complete the delivery of revised deliverables under the principal contract. The contract was for the procurement, supply of goods and equipment and the implementation of Tanzania's National Identification System based on smartcard technology. (Bernama)

Pos Malaysia: To increase fuel surcharge for shipments between Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah/Sarawak. Effective April 1, 2022, Pos Malaysia will be increasing its fuel surcharge by 5% for shipments that move from Peninsular Malaysia to Sabah/Sarawak (Zone 4) and Sabah/Sarawak to Peninsular Malaysia (Zone 5). Jet fuel price has surged sharply recently with the ongoing tension and very unfortunate events taking place in Ukraine. (The Edge)

Artroniq: In talks to acquire ICT firm, monetise manufacturing business. Artroniq (formerly known as Plastrade Technology), responding to an unusual market activity query by Bursa Securities, said it is in the midst of discussions to acquire an ICT company and monetise its manufacturing business. (The Edge)


The FBM KLCI might open higher today as global equities rallied and oil prices fell on Tuesday after Russia said it would reduce its military operations near Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose to more than two-month highs, with the indices closing up 1.2% and 1.8%, respectively. Both are still down this year. The rally in US stocks came as Russia said it had decided to “dramatically” scale back military activities in the Kyiv and Chernihiv areas after envoys from Moscow and Ukraine met in Istanbul on Tuesday to discuss a possible peace deal. In Europe, shares of auto makers drove the Stoxx Europe 600 up 1.7% at close, the index’s biggest gain in almost two weeks.

Back home, Bursa Malaysia closed lower as profit taking persisted in most heavyweights led by Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), Public Bank Bhd and Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd. At 5pm, the benchmark FBM KLCI fell 14.53 points or 0.91% to 1,583.42 from 1,597.95 at Monday’s close. In the region, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.1% and Japan’s Topix gained 0.9%.

Source: PublicInvest Research - 30 Mar 2022

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