Sembcorp Industries share price faces stink bomb

Recently, I was reading one of my old articles on Sembcorp Industries share price written in August 2020. Back then, Sembcorp Industries collapsed to $1.80 following the demerger with Sembcorp Marine. However, I made a bold prediction that Sembcorp Industries would hit $5. Fast forward to 29 May 2023, Sembcorp Industries share price finally crossed that magical $5 mark.

To be frank, the explosive form of Sembcorp Industries share price had been nothing short of a fairy tale in SGX. Apart from iFAST, Sembcorp Industries is one of the only few SGX stocks that captures the imagination of investors. The stark difference between the two stocks is that the bullish run of iFAST shares did not last long while Sembcorp Industries share price went from strength to strength.

Sembcorp Industries share price

Given the splendid form of Sembcorp Industries share price, credit should be given to the Group CEO, Wong Kim Yin, who joined the Group only in July 2020. During his short tenure, CEO Wong has been instrumental in transforming Sembcorp Industries’ portfolio from brown to green. For the past three years, the Group secured a slew of green energy contracts. These contract wins enabled Sembcorp Industries share price back to rocket its way past the pre-pandemic levels.

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AEM share price to smash $10 in 2023?

It is often said that to win in the stock market, you must buy low and sell high. Yet when a stock goes into a free fall, it takes an investor with incredible gumption to buy the stock. AEM share price (SGX: AWX) is currently in that predicament. After hitting a high of $5.25 in 31 December 2021 due to the pandemic-induced technology boom, AEM share price collapsed to the current $3.40 at the point of writing.

The rise and fall of AEM share price (SGX: AWX) are indeed intriguing yet gut-wrenching for investors. In this context, the high volatility of AEM share price (SGX: AWX) means that this stock is not suitable for retail investors looking for stable returns. Despite so, it is certainly not the endgame for the semiconductor test equipment company. Investors must realize that AEM Holdings operates in a highly cyclical industry and its business is affected by the slump in the sector.

AEM share price

The latest financial result only confirmed what it already known to many investors – recovery of the semiconductor will likely to take place only in the latter half of this year due to the inventory glut across the industry. In view of this, AEM share price (SGX: AWX) faces a blistering winter ahead.

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Restructuring my Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) portfolio

Recently, I have restructured my Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) portfolio by divesting two tranches of SSB which were bought with cash at 2.57% and 2.63%. The funds, consolidated with the proceeds from the sale of my previous house, were then parked in several fixed deposit accounts with an average interest rate of 3.75%.

Separately, I have also bought Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) at interest rate of 3.07% using my Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS). I had wanted to purchase Mapletree Logistics Trust (MLT) using the SRS funds but decided not to after observing the declining unit price for the past one year.

Singapore Savings Bonds SSB

Admittedly, I was late to the game as both the fixed interest rates and Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) had started to decline in recent months. Previously, the inertia to restructure my Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) was because I was expecting the rates to keep rising against the backdrop of the US Federal interest rate hikes. Henceforth, I was caught by surprise that the 10-year SGS yield declined so drastically since March 2023 (Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) interest rates are based on the average SGS yields the month before).

Apparently, the market is expecting that the US Federal interest rate hike on 4 May 2023 to be the final one as the financial market is in jitters following the swift collapses of four US regional banks and the demise of Credit Suisse Bank.

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Singtel share price (SGX: Z74) in trouble

Could Optus’s cybersecurity attack become another Bharti Airtel for Singtel? In November 2019, Singtel posted its first quarterly loss due to the $1.93 billion pre-tax share of Bharti Airtel’s one-off charge in India. That India saga saw Singtel share price (SGX: Z74) plunging from $3.40 in late 2019 to a low of $2.00 in October 2020. The turmoil also saw the departure of former CEO, Chua Sock Koong in December 2020. Against this backdrop, investors must be holding their breath on the unfolding class action suit against its wholly-owned subsidiary, Optus.

On 21 April 2023, Singtel announced that “a class action against six (6) Australian Optus entities was filed in the Federal Court of Australia”. According to a Straits Times article, it was alleged that more than 100,000 current and former customers had joined in the class action suit. In my opinion, given the severity of the incident and the scale of the cybersecurity victims, the potential costs and fines may be at least US$1 billion based on Bharti Airtel saga. Of course, this is just my personal opinion and I could be wrong.

Singtel share price

Last year, several analysts had predicted that the data breach could cost Singtel hefty costs of about US$500 million, to which Singtel had rubbished as “speculative”.

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AEM share price (SGX: AWX) rocketed 10%

From $3.00 on 29 March 2023, AEM share price (SGX: AWX) rocketed 10% to hit $3.30 in recent days. Given the global economic slowdown and continuing downturn in the semiconductor industry, what could have propelled AEM share price (SGX: AWX)?

The revival of AEM share price (SGX: AWX) should be due to the recent good news from its most important client – Intel, which provided its business update on 30 March 2023. After four delays over two years, Intel finally launches its much-anticipated 4th generation Xeon processors, Sapphire Rapids for both laptops and servers. According to Intel, this is the highest quality data center CPU the company has ever delivered, and the ramp is continuing aggressively.

AEM share price

But what made the recent Intel’s announcement so special for AEM share price (SGX: AWX) was the series of upcoming product launches by Intel. Following Sapphire Rapids, hot on the heels will be the launch of Intel’s 5th generation Xeon processors, Emerald Rapids in 4th quarter 2023.

And that’s not all, Sierra Forest and Granite Rapids will be released by Intel in 2024. The series of product launches showed that Intel is determined to regain its market share in the data center CPU segment.

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Mapletree Logistics Trust in shopping spree

Amid the challenging operating environment, Mapletree Logistics Trust (SGX: M44U) bucked the trend and embarked on yet another round of asset acquisitions, acquiring new logistics assets in Japan, Australia, South Korea and China. Total cost of acquisitions came up to about $1.122 billion.

For a moment, my heart sunk upon seeing the announcement as the thought of another mega rights issue would be on the way. Thankfully, it turned out that the management has opted for a combination of private placement ($200 million) and bank loans ($746.8 million).

Mapletree Logistics Trust M44U

The private placement will see placement of between 121,285,000 and 124,223,000 new units at an issue price of between $1.610 and $1.649 per new unit. In connection to the private placement, a distributable income of 2.502 cents per unit will be paid to unitholders for the period from 1 January 2023 to the day immediately prior to the date on which the new units would be issued.

Year-to-date, Mapletree Logistics Trust (SGX: M44U) unit price increased by about 9.5%. The counter was featured in the February SGX Top Ten Institutional Net Buy Stocks, with net buying value of $14.3 million. Looking back, the past one year had been torrid for most S-REITs due to the relentless interest rate hikes by US Federal Reserves.

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DBS Group Holdings share price in trouble

Troubles come in troops for DBS Group Holdings share price (SGX: D05). The recent online service outage caused an uproar in Singapore, with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) saying that the disruption was “unacceptable”. The MAS will also be taking actions against DBS after investigation is completed. In light of this mess, what will the implication be for DBS Group Holdings share price (SGX: D05) in the coming months?

For DBS Group Holdings, it is a case of lightning strikes thrice as the 29 March 2023 service outage was actually the third time for DBS. The previous incidents took place in November 2021 and July 2010. For the 2021 incident, the MAS has imposed an extra capital requirement of $930 million on DBS. This was four times higher than the amount imposed on the bank for the 2010 incident. Evidently, the extra capital requirements had not been effective as the latest outage took place just 16 months from the 2021 incident.

DBS Group Holdings share price

Will the MAS impose a significant civil penalty on DBS? It remains to be seen as analysts had claimed that the MAS is likely to impose another round of extra capital requirement on DBS, albeit at a much higher amount than the 2021 version.

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Gold price to hit US$3,000 in 2023?

In my last article on gold on 4 December 2021, I made the argument that gold price was set for a big fall in 2022 due to the possibility of US interest rate hike. I also highlighted that a drop in gold price would represent good buying opportunities for bullion investors. Indeed, gold price had a major decline in 2022, falling from US$2,040 per troy ounce on 8 March 2022 to a low of US$1,628 per troy ounce on 3 November 2022.

Admittedly, I had not practised what I had preached as I had not bought bullion when gold price collapsed in 2022 (my funds were tied up in the purchase of a new home). Nonetheless, I was shocked that Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) had done so in late 2022.

According to the MAS website on International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity, the volume of gold held in our national reserves in December 2022 was 4.94 million troy ounces. As at January 2023, the volume of gold held surged to 6.38 million troy ounces. Thus, the increase in gold held in Singapore reserves represented about 30%. This means that within the span of just a month, MAS had increased gold bullion by a significant quantum.

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OCBC share price (SGX: O39) in trouble

In banks, things move at the speed of light. Within the span of just one week, three large US banks had failed – Silicon Valley Bank, Silvergate and Signature Bank. The collapses ignited global fear of contagion in the financial sector, leading to another massive financial crisis not seen since 2008. The fear is not unfound as Credit Suisse got rescued by Swiss National Bank with a US$54 billion loan while a consortium of US banks loaned First Republic a whopping US$30 billion to prevent a contagion from spreading in US. Against this backdrop, what is the implication for OCBC share price?

The narrative for OCBC share price had certainly turned scary in 2023. When I invested in OCBC in August 2021, my thesis was that bank stocks should perform well in high inflationary environment as high interest rates generally lead to higher net interest incomes for the banks. Back then, I had anticipated that US Federal Reserves would hike interest rates in 2022 and that Singapore bank stocks would be the biggest beneficiary from the rate hikes. However, it seems that the series of interest rate hikes by US Federal Reserve could be tipping global economy into a financial crisis instead.

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Singtel share price (SGX: Z74) in crisis

What an ambush out of nowhere! It seems that I had grossly underestimated the impact of Optus cybersecurity attack on Singtel share price (SGX: Z74).

Six months had passed since the Australian unit of Singtel suffered the fateful cybersecurity attack but Singtel share price (SGX: Z74) continued to be in sluggish form. In fact, at current trading levels, Singtel share price has reverted to the previous low in the aftermath of the cybersecurity attack. When can the counter shake off the blues?

Singtel share price

In my last article, I wrote that Singtel share price (SGX: Z74) might have turned the corner due to several strong financial performances in the past few quarters. However, in the stock market, sentiments often prevail. In this regard, clouds of uncertainty may engulf Singtel share price (SGX: Z74) in the coming months until the cybersecurity issue is fully addressed.

To recap, in 22 September 2022, Singtel revealed that its Optus customers’ data were leaked following a cybersecurity attack. Then in October 2022, the telco announced that about 1.2 million of the Australian customers were affected. Apparently, some of the customers’ passport numbers were exposed by the perpetrators. The incident led to fear that a massive class suit action could be coming Singtel’s way.

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AEM share price blew up in pieces

What an explosive free fall! AEM share price (SGX: AWX) plunged by nearly 15% within two days following the release of the full-year financial result for FY2022 on 24 February 2023. The trigger for the sell-offs was not attributed to the financial result, which was stellar by the way. Instead, investors were spooked by the revenue forecast for FY2023.

After achieving a record revenue of $870.5 million for FY2022, the management guided revenue of just $500 million for FY2023 “that may be revised as second half visibility becomes clearer”. The market wasted no time punishing AEM share price (SGX: AWX), sending the counter straight to the bottom.

AEM share price

Short-selling volume surged to a high of 2.8 million on 27 February and 1.67 million on 28 February. The daily short-selling volume on AEM was roughly about 200,000. So the recent spike in short-selling volume represented about 10-fold increase, leading to the short-term volatility in AEM share price (SGX: AWX).

In this blog, I have always maintained that on its day, AEM share price (SGX: AWX) can be unbeatable. Conversely, when the tide goes against AEM share price, the counter can spiral out of control. In view of this, this counter is really not for the faint-hearted.

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DBS Group Holdings share to hit $50 in 2023?

Is it a healthy correction or the start of a slippery slope? After announcing a record net profit of $8.19 billion for FY2022, DBS Group Holdings share price stunned the market by falling from $36 on 10 February 2023 to $34.70 on 15 February 2023. The decline represented a 3.6% in DBS Group Holdings share price within a week.

The volatility of DBS Group Holdings share price should not be attributed to the financial result of FY2022. Rather, the market should be rattled by CEO Piyush Gupta’s revelation of DBS loan exposure of $1.3 billion to beleaguered Adani Group, which has been targeted by short seller Hindenburg Research. The Adani Group is alleged by Hindenburg Research for stock manipulation.

DBS Group Holdings share price

To be fair to Piyush Gupta, the amount of loan issued to Adani Group represented only 0.3% of the total loan portfolio of DBS Group. Thus, the collateral damage should not be significant even if the full amount of $1.3 billion is write-off. But of concerning to most investors is how many Adani will DBS Group face in 2023 against the backdrop of a possible global recession?

DBS Group emerged victorious from the devastating pandemic as DBS Group Holdings share price smashed a record high of $37.25 on 11 February 2022.

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Lenovo share price (HKEX: 992) to rocket in 2023?

7th March 2022 will be remembered as a memorable day for investors of Lenovo as the stock was included in the prestigious Hong Kong’s benchmark stock gauge – the Hang Seng Index. Consequently, Lenovo share price (HKEX: 992) rose steadily to a 52-week high of HK$9.00. The entry into Hang Seng Index capped a stunning turn of event as Lenovo scrapped its US$1.8 billion mega IPO in Shanghai Stock Market only in October 2021.

The bizarre withdrawal from Shanghai Stock Market had caused a temporary crisis of confidence for Lenovo share price as the counter dived 17%. But not for long as Lenovo share price (HKEX: 992) recovered swiftly from the crash following the inclusion into Hang Seng Index. In this regard, the volatility of Lenovo share price (HKEX: 992) is certainly not for the faint-hearted.

Lenovo share price

And that’s not all. Two weeks after Lenovo share price got included into Hang Seng Index, US Federal Reserves launched a series of interest rate hikes that rattled global stock market. During that period, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine added further turmoil to global financial market. These two events created uncertainties, causing sell-offs on growth stocks. Lenovo share price (HKEX: 992) was not spared from the carnage and the counter has been on a bearish run for pretty much of 2022.

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Cathay Pacific share price in death spiral

Not even the lure of 500,000 free air tickets to Hong Kong could revive the ailing Cathay Pacific share price. The counter continued to be in sluggish form after the announcement by Hong Kong government. Year-to-date, Cathay Pacific share price fell by 6.89%.

The unprecedented disruption caused by COVID-19 to air travel will be remembered by many for generations. For Cathay Pacific, the past three years had been nothing short of a prolonged terrifying nightmare due to the travel restrictions and strict quarantine requirements for Hong Kong-based aircrew. No doubt about it, these measures inflicted substantial impact on Cathay Pacific’s business. Whilst most countries had reopened in 2022, Hong Kong closely followed China’s zero COVID policy, at a hefty price to the economy of Hong Kong.

Cathay Pacific share price

Then, on 14 December 2022, the Asian financial hub stunned the world with the announcement of the lifting of all COVID-19 restrictions on travellers. Surely, the worst must be over for Hong Kong. Could this herald the bottom of Cathay Pacific share price?

According to IATA, the airline industry had been the most profitable for decades in the period from 2010 to 2019. Cumulatively, the combined profits of the airlines amounted to a staggering US$220 billion.

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Sembcorp Marine share price to rock in 2023?

Is this really light at end of the tunnel for Sembcorp Marine share price? On 27 January 2023, SGX gave the green light for the acquisition of Keppel O&M by Sembcorp Marine through the issuance of 36.8 billion new Sembcorp Marines shares. The SGX nod was a major breakthrough for the merger between the oil-rig giants, heralding the end of a long running saga.

To be sure, the proposed merger is not a done deal yet as it is subjected to shareholders’ voting in an extraordinary meeting to be held on 16 February 2023. Sembcorp Marine must obtain more than 50% votes from its shareholders (excluding Temasek Holdings) in order for the acquisition to go through. Against this backdrop, investors should expect plenty of volatility for Sembcorp Marine share price in the coming weeks.

Sembcorp Marine share price

In the EGM circular, the Sembcorp Marine warned shareholders that there is “no assurance that as a standalone entity, the SCM Group will continue to receive the necessary support from its banks, financiers and significant shareholder, Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited”.

In my opinion, the caution is not warranted as its almost a certainty that shareholders would vote in favor for the merger. And it’s not so much of the expectations of a business turnaround.

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AEM share price (SGX: AWX) faces calamity

What a disaster! A brutal winter beckons ahead for AEM share price following the release of the recent disastrous Intel’s 4th quarter financial result. The day after the release of Intel’s financial result, AEM share price tumbled 3%.  It remains to be seen if this is the start of another slippery slope for AEM share price in the coming weeks as the full-year financial result for AEM will be released in February.

In October 2022, AEM share price had suffered a devastating meltdown of 25% within two weeks following reports that Intel is going to lay off workers amid steep decline for its core businesses – PC and Data Center. In this blog, I have always maintained that on its day, AEM share price can be unbeatable. Conversely, when the tide goes against AEM share price, the counter can spiral out of control. In view of this, this counter is really not for the faint-hearted.

AEM share price

The full-year financial result for AEM should be stellar based on the 9MFY2022 financial performance. This should provide a much-needed booster shot for AEM share price. However, investors must be wary of a bull trap as the market is bracing for a looming downturn. Intel had guided that revenue for 1QFY2023 would decline by a whopping 40% year-on-year while loss per share would be US$0.15.

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Comfort Delgro share price crashed to new low

It is a case of all hell broke loose. Comfort Delgro share price faces potential crisis as it plunged to a record low of $1.14 on 16 January 2023. What could have led to the gut-wrenching train wreck for Comfort Delgro share price? After all, we are only less than one month into 2023. The devastating meltdown of Comfort Delgro share price have prompted an SG Wealth Builder member to request for a write-up on this counter. Should investors sell everything and run for their lives?

Comfort Delgro is a transport company with a total fleet size of about 34,000 buses, taxis and rental vehicles. SBS Transit, a listed company, is a subsidiary. Vicom, another SGX-listed company, is another subsidiary. For the past decade, Comfort Delgro has spread its wings overseas, with operations in Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, China, Ireland and Malaysia.

Comfort Delgro share price

Although Comfort Delgro is widely perceived as a taxi company, the Group traditionally derived its main bulk of the revenue from the public transport services (bus and rail). In this context, several major changes in the rail-hailing and public transport from 2018 to 2019 had impacted Comfort’s businesses. Among them is the New Rail Financing Framework.

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Wilmar share price swim or sink in 2023?

How will Wilmar share price unravel in 2023? In my previous article, I wrote that Wilmar share price fell from the sky and lost its way in 2022 following a series of unfortunate events. The roller coaster form of Wilmar share price had left many investors befuddled. After all, the Group had been consistently churning out good financial results in recent years. In this article, I will share my insights on the outlook of Wilmar share price in 2023.

First thing first. I must clarify that Wilmar is one of my favourite SGX stocks, so my views may be biased. In 2020, I had invested in Wilmar and exited at a profit of $2,700 in early 2021. My lowest entry of Wilmar share price was $4.84 and I exited at $5.20. While I did not exit at the highest point of $5.60, I have no regrets selling my Wilmar stocks. In life, you can never sell at the highest point. Despite so, I would caution that due to the volatility of Wilmar share price, this stock is really not for the faint-hearted.

Wilmar share price

There are a few driving factors behind the volatility of Wilmar share price, and they are largely attributed to the core business in Indonesia – palm oil plantations.

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iFAST share price to hit $20?

Will iFAST share price enjoy another fairy-tale run in 2023? iFAST share price became stuff of legend in SGX Mainboard when the counter rocketed from $1.00 in 2020 to an incredible high of $10 in 2021. The meteoric rise of iFAST share price certainly created plenty of wealth for many iFAST investors.

For background, iFAST is an online platform company offering investment products to retail investors. At the same time, financial institutions and banks can distribute their investment products through iFAST’s platform. The supersonic boom of iFAST share price in recent years was due to iFAST winning the award of Hong Kong ePension scheme in early 2021.

iFAST share price

Incidentally, iFAST share price was given a mighty booster shot by the pandemic due to the trading boom from 2020 to 2021. As many investors were working from home and unable to travel due to borders’ restrictions, there were plenty of opportunities for retail investors to capitalize on the market corrections during that period. As a result, iFAST’s Asset under Administration (AUA) rose from $14.45 billion in FY2020 to $19 billion in FY2021.

However, Man proposes, God disposes. The wheels came off the wagon for iFAST share price in 2022 as the series of interest rate hikes by US Federal Reserve and the Russia-Ukraine war combined to knock the wind out of global stock markets.

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Keppel share price worth $15?

A new year, a new beginning! How will Keppel share price unravel in 2023? Time flies. It has been more than one and a half year since Keppel Corp entered into a non-binding MoU with Sembcorp Marine to combine Keppel Offshore & Marine (KOM) and Sembcorp Marine. Under the deal, KOM will be merged with Sembcorp Marine. In addition, Keppel will receive shares in the listed entity and a cash consideration of up to $500 million. Given the protracted negotiations, investors must be feeling impatient. Will the deal go through or not?

During this period, the oil and gas sector has seen a remarkable recovery as crude oil price smashed past US$120 per barrel in March 2022 with the onset of the Russia-Ukraine war. While oil prices had cooled down since then, the demand for oil-rigs had been healthy in 2022. Against this backdrop, investors must be wondering if Keppel Corp should continue with the merger. Notwithstanding this, Keppel Corp investors had voted in favour of the 2 resolutions during the extraordinary meeting held on 8 December 2022 (99.96%).

Keppel share price

Even though Keppel investors had voted overwhelmingly for the merger, it is not a done deal yet. In life, never say never.

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