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Singapore Daily Bulletin – 19/11/12

Singapore’s 3Q12 GDP Jumps 1.3% Y-O-Y, Contracts 1.5% Q-O-Q
Singapore’s economy grew by 1.3 percent on a year-on-year basis in 3Q12, compared to a 2.3 percent growth in 2Q12. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the economy contracted by 1.5 percent, a reversal from a growth of 0.2 percent in 2Q12. Commenting on several sectors, Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said the gloomy performance was mainly due to contraction in the manufacturing sector. Notably, manufacturing sector declined by an annualised rate of 3.9 percent, while on a year-on-year basis, the sector jumped 0.7 percent compared to the 4.6 percent increase in the preceding quarter. On the other hand, construction sector grew by 8.6 percent on a year-on-year basis in the third quarter, moderating from 10.1 percent in the previous quarter. Services producing industries rose by 1.1 percent on a year-on-year basis, following the 0.9 percent growth in the previous quarter.

Significance: In view of the subdued economic growth, Singapore cut its growth forecast for 2012 to around 1.5 percent. Meanwhile, MTI also projected difficult times ahead in 2013, with growth next year expected at 1 to 3 percent.

UOB Collaborates With China Government Organisation To Boost SEA & China Trade
United Overseas Bank (UOB) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT). This marks CCPIT’s first such collaboration with a South-east Asian bank. “Many small and medium-sized enterprises in China lack the expertise to venture abroad,” said CCPIT vice-chairman Zhang Wei. Zhang also noted that UOB will be providing cross-border banking services such as trade financing, loans, investments and deposits, in a bid to help Chinese firms capitalise opportunities in South-east Asia (SEA). UOB says it has seen substantial loan growth from Chinese companies operating outside China, mainly within SEA. Highlighting the attractiveness of China’s large domestic market, Eric Tham, UOB’s group head of commercial bank said that “China is named the factory of the world, and many large American and European multinationals manufacture there, thus a lot of Singaporean companies want to follow the big boys.”

Significance: The MOU will create a platform in which the Chinese companies can tap on UOB’s extensive regional network. This is in hopes that more Chinese companies can be listed in Singapore. On the other hand, CCPIT will help UOB customers expand into Chinese cities such as Tianjin, Jiangsu and Jinan, as well as the major centres of Shanghai and Beijing.

TRIYARDS’ Inks US$90m Contract, Orderbook Exceeds US$700m
TRIYARDS Holdings announced that it has secured a second order for the BH 450, a newly-designed 450-feet self-elevating mobile offshore platform service unit (SEU) series. According to TRIYARD, the latest US$90 million win was from an Asian-based customer. Commenting on the contract, TRIYARDS’ chief executive officer Wong Bheet Huan said the new contract is the second of the same series awarded to TRIYARDS within the last 12 months and affirms clients’ confidence in TRIYARDS’ technical and technological capabilities. Earlier, TRIYARDS reported a 421 percent jump in earnings to US$44.1 million, while revenue increased 223 percent to US$366.9 million.

Significance: The latest win boosts TRIYARDS’ total gross orderbook past the US$700 million mark. Moving forward, TRIYARD will look to expand its ship repair operations and its broaden product scope to include high-speed aluminium-based vessels.