Top News this Week (14 Feb)

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Rounding up top investing articles from around the web, including articles shared by fellow investors in the Financial Horse Facebook Group.


Stock.i1: iFAST Corporation Limited Post Result Announcement (Investor-One)

iFAST Corporation Limited (“iFAST”) is a wealth management Fintech platform, with Assets Under Administration (“AUA”) of S$14.45 billion as of 31st December 2020. Incorporated in the year 2000 in Singapore and listed on the SGX-Mainboard in December 2014, the Group is also present in Hong Kong, Malaysia, China and India.  

iFAST Corporation Limited has released its FY2020 results on 5th February 2021. In this article, we will be looking at the highlights of their result announcement and the management outlook for the group. For FY2020, iFAST’s revenue came in at S$169.93 million, which is an increase of 35.5% year-on-year. The growth in revenue can be seen from the combined effect of improved market sentiments in recent quarters and an increase in the number of transactions.  


Evaluating a Specialty Luxury Watch Retail Group using 4 Financial Metrics (Investor One)

The Hour Glass Limited (“Hour Glass”) is a retailer for men’s and women’s watches. The Company and its subsidiaries are engaged in investment holding, retailing and distribution of watches, jewelry and other luxury products, and investment in properties. Its geographic segments include South East Asia and Australia, and North East Asia.  

For FY2020, Hour Glass’ revenue stands at S$749.4 million, which is a growth rate of 3.9% year-on-year. The rise in revenue can be seen from the improvement in overall sales of luxury watches. With a lower growth in Cost of Revenue and a lower rental expense, Hour Glass’ profit after tax grew by 9% year-on-year to S$77.4 million. 


Tesla S’pore sales portal goes ‘live’; Model 3 Standard Range to cost $113,000 before COE (Straits Times)

The site stated that the Tesla Model 3 Performance, a high-powered version of the Model 3, which hits 100kmh in 3.3 seconds, will retail at an estimated price of just under $155,000 before the Certificate of Entitlement (COE). The less powerful Model 3 Standard Range, which reaches 100kmh in 5.6 seconds, will go for around $113,000 before COE.

The prices – substantially lower than what parallel importers have been charging – are close to what ST posted in its report on Monday (Feb 8). Observers said Tesla’s pricing is likely to propel sales, given that at current COE rates, the Model 3 Standard Range is likely to be cheaper than a Toyota Camry but with more bang for your buck. 


Singapore’s DBS Q4 profit slides 33% on loan losses, upbeat on outlook (CNA)

Singapore’s DBS Group reported a one-third fall in quarterly net profit, in line with estimates, as it booked higher loan losses in pandemic-hit markets but gave an optimistic view for this year. Piyush Gupta, CEO of Southeast Asia’s biggest lender, said latest economic data supported a strong economic rebound for 2021. DBS’ strong performance in January provided a head start to the year, he said in a presentation on the bank’s business outlook.


Genting Singapore full-year profit plunges 90% (Straits Times)

Genting Singapore posted a 90 per cent plunge in full-year net profit to $69.2 million, which the integrated resort operator called the “worst financial performance” since the opening of Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) in 2010. This was despite the group’s implementation of cost containment measures and aid from the Singapore government amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Genting Singapore said. Two-thirds of the net profit was attributable to the better performance before Chinese New Year in the first quarter of 2020, prior to the steep onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in Asia.


Extended wage support high on Singapore SMEs’ wish list (Business Times)

CONTINUED wage support is top of this year’s Budget wish list for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore, according to the UOB SME Outlook 2021 Study published on Wednesday.


More expecting government intervention to cool Singapore’s property market (Business Times)

MORE market observers are expecting the Singapore government to step in to cool the private residential market, while spiking construction costs overtook economic woes as the top potential risk factor that may temper sentiment in the next six months.


Stocks aren’t in a bubble, but here’s what is, according to fund manager Cathie Wood (Market Watch)

Since 2018, there have been outflows of roughly $300 billion from equities, excluding share repurchases by companies. But there have been inflows of $1 trillion into bonds, she said. “If there is a bubble anywhere, it is not in the equity market, it is in the fixed-income market,” she said.

Private equity is feeding this bubble, she said. “It’s amazing to me to watch private equity, with mature [companies], will continue to leverage them up so they can enjoy the private equity distribution,” she said. Private-equity owners are sustaining high-multiple cash flows by not investing in the future. “That’s become problematic for these companies, and their high cash-flow margins will disappear over time.”

She also took a swipe at passive investing. “This move toward passive investing we’ve seen over the last 20 years…that now is a setup for disappointing returns,” Wood said. While acknowledging passive funds were inexpensive, she said they were “cheap for a reason,” a phrase often associated with arguments against value stocks. At least have a hedge by investing in innovation, Wood said.

In the equities market, there is a bifurcation between those companies on the leading edge of innovation and investing, versus those companies that haven’t. She gave electric-vehicle maker Tesla TSLA, -5.26%, payment-services firm Square SQ, -0.24%, and streaming digital player maker Roku ROKU, +0.51% as examples of evolving platform companies that will be winner-take-most. “We think these companies will grow into their valuations, much like Amazon has been doing.”


Disney’s Quarter, Pot Stocks, Bumble IPO: 3 Things to Watch (Investing.com)

1. Disney earnings: The happiest place on Earth wasn’t too happy last year, as Covid-19 forced it to close its theme parks. The movie business wasn’t so hot, either, with theaters also shut to new runs. Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) solve that problem with its Disney+ streaming service, which got a big leg up with people stuck at home.

2. Pot stocks: Cannabis is the hot topic this week in the markets, with stocks of Tilray, Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGC) Corp (TSX:WEED), Aphria Inc (TSX:APHA) all higher.  Reports say Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY) is now a subject of talk among the same Reddit group that boosted shares of GameStop Corp (NYSE:GME).

3. A dating app debut: Just in time for Valentine’s day, the dating app Bumble is geared up for its initial public offering after raising its range to $37 to $39 from $28 to $30 in a deal that could reach $1.7 billion. What else is new? Practically every recent IPO has seen a big bump on the first day of trading.


Billionaire Names Oil Stocks He Calls ‘The Investment Opportunity Of My Career’ (Forbes)

“Before the world does not need any more oil, we will suffer a shortage,” he predicts. The world may be burning nearly 10% less oil than the pre-pandemic 101 million barrels per day, but, he says, “don’t mistake Covid-related weakness for a secular shift.” Goff reasons that electric vehicles are still just a blip. “I think there’s tremendous pent-up [consumer] demand. People are really tired,” he says, adding that workers want to get back to their offices. “Oil and gas is going to come back with a vengeance.” Already, in Brazil, petroleum demand is above pre-coronavirus levels. 

Lest you think this real estate maven turned oilman is an old fogey, Goff marvels that his most successful investments in the past year (by percentage gain) have been in cryptocurrencies, especially bitcoin. 

But he can’t shake his preference for storing wealth in the ground and thinks the geology two miles under the Permian tumbleweeds is so rich with frackable layers of oil-bearing rock that owning acreage there (as well as in prime parts of Oklahoma and Wyoming) will be a solid hedge against the increasing likelihood of inflation, prompted by the Fed’s 72% expansion of the U.S. money supply over the past year. “This can go on for a prolonged period—printing money at a breakneck pace,” he says. “It’s frightening to me.”  


Crypto Mogul Bets on ‘Meme Investing’ With Millions in GameStop (Bloomberg)

Justin Sun, the 30-year-old crypto entrepreneur who bought $10 million worth of GameStop Corp. at the height of its Reddit-fueled rally, is predicting a paradigm shift in investing as younger people swarm into financial assets.

Speaking the same week Elon Musk announced he put $1.5 billion of Tesla Inc.’s cash in Bitcoin, Sun said that a new type of internet-driven investing would benefit cryptocurrencies as well as shares of companies that are able to understand and latch onto “meme culture.”

Sun said he’s prepared to hold onto his GameStop shares that he purchased near the highs late last month in an effort to tap into the adrenaline-charged rush that lured retail investors into so-called meme stocks. He also bought $1 million in AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. and a further $1 million in silver. The GameStop position is now worth just $2 million, Sun said.

Sun founded blockchain business Tron in 2017 and has since expanded into other decentralization technologies and platforms such as BitTorrent Inc., Steemit and DLive. He made headlines in 2019 by spending a record $4.6 million at Warren Buffett’s annual charity auction to have dinner with the aging investor.


Elon Musk’s dogecoin tweets are worrying and people will lose money, bitcoin bulls say (CNBC)

  • Nic Carter, a venture capitalist known for his bullish stance on bitcoin, said dogecoin is mainly used as a “vehicle for speculation.”
  • Carter and former hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz criticized Elon Musk over his tweets about the meme-inspired cryptocurrency.
  • Created in 2013, dogecoin was intended to be used as a faster — but “fun” — alternative to bitcoin.

Why there’s a chip shortage that’s hurting everything from the PlayStation 5 to the Chevy Malibu (CNBC)

  • A chip shortage that started in a surge in demand for personal computers and other electronics for work or school from home during the pandemic now threatens to snarl car production around the world.
  • Semiconductors are in short supply because of big demand for electronics, shifting business models which include outsourcing production, and effects from former President Donald Trump’s trade war.
  • Chips are likely to remain in short supply in coming months as demand remains higher than ever.

Hasbro, Mattel Say Toy Boom to Extend Beyond Covid-19 (WSJ)

Hasbro Inc. HAS 1.71% and Mattel Inc. MAT -2.07% enjoyed a boost during the Covid-19 pandemic as lockdowns spurred parents to spend on everything from board games to Barbie dolls for their children. Hasbro’s game business was the standout at the company last year, with sales up 15% despite some supply shortages during the holiday shopping season. Families that began playing together bought classic versions of such games as Monopoly and Operation. Others rounded out their collections with special versions such as a Monopoly game featuring the Baby Yoda character from the “Star Wars” spinoff “The Mandalorian.”


Over 250,000 in Singapore have received first dose of Covid-19 vaccine: PM Lee (Straits Times)

More than 250,000 people in Singapore have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and the entire population is on track to be inoculated within this year if supplies come in as scheduled, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.


Singapore resident population in HDB flats falls to 3.04m, with smaller households spread over more flats (Straits Times)

The number of Singapore residents living in Housing Board flats has dipped for the first time since 2003, with household sizes shrinking even as the number of HDB households continued to climb. A total of 3.04 million Singapore residents – or close to eight in 10 Singapore residents – lived in HDB flats in 2018, as compared to 3.06 million in 2013.


Singapore unveils Green Plan 2030, outlines green targets for next 10 years (CNA)

The Government unveiled the Singapore Green Plan 2030 on Wednesday (Feb 10), a “whole-of-nation movement” to advance the national agenda on sustainable development. Some new initiatives under the plan include requiring all new car registrations to be cleaner-energy models from 2030, and more than doubling the targeted number of electric vehicle charging points by 2030. The plan also builds on Singapore’s 2030 aim to reduce the waste sent to the landfill by 30 per cent, aiming for a 20 per cent reduction by 2026, the media release read. 


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