Thursday, September 18, 2014

Xpress partners UPS, S.F. Express to provide logistics services

Xpress New Media, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Mainboard-listed Xpress Holdings, is partnering United Parcel Service of Singapore and S. F. Express (Group) Co. to provide value-added logistics services.

These include providing other value-added documentation services like completion of airway bills, shipment invoices, as well as tracking services right up to the completion of delivery at its 8–8 Biz Butler outlets and its flagship outlet in the CBD.

United Parcel Service is the world’s largest global logistics provider and offers international freight while S.F. Express' strength is in Greater China where it has currently the largest courier network.

Xpress New Media said the collaborations will enhance XNM’s end-to-end full business services for its clients. It will not only provide customers with greater convenience for their logistics needs but it can also extend its services to more customers – especially retail customers – who have greater need for international delivery solutions.

Meanwhile, Xpress said it has also signed reseller arrangements with selected suppliers to widen its range of corporate gifts and premiums.

Xpress will be able to customise the packaging of gifts for their corporate functions and better cater to its customers who are keen to create unique presents and personalised tailor-made gifts from a selection of global brands.

Corporate clients will be able to purchase and customise their gift selections directly at the 8-8 Biz Butler outlet at 80 Robinson Road.

Sep 18: SGX, Raffles Education, Xpress

The Straits Times Index (STI) on Wednesday ended 23.86 points or 0.73% higher at 3,296.48, taking the year-to-date performance to +4.16%. The top active stocks were DBS (+0.72%), UOB (+0.13%), SingTel (+0.53%), Keppel Corp (+1.05%) and Genting Sing (+2.28%). Here are some stocks and factors to watch this Thursday morning:

Singapore Exchange (SGX) plans to introduce a minimum trading price requirement as part of changes aimed at curbing excessive speculation on penny stocks listed on the bourse. SGX in a statement on Wednesday set a minimum trading price of 20 Singapore cents for stocks on the main board, effective from March 2016.

Raffles Education Corporation is acquiring a hotel and facilities, seven commercial units and a plot of land with teaching building and dormitories, in Nendaz, Switzerland. The total consideration for the acquisition is CHF29.12 million ($39.8 million).

Xpress New Media, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Mainboard-listed Xpress Holdings, is partnering United Parcel Service of Singapore and S. F. Express (Group) Co. to provide value-added logistics services at its 8–8 Biz Butler outlets.

Raffles Education acquires Swiss properties for $40 million to start hospitality school

Raffles Education Corporation is acquiring a hotel and facilities, seven commercial units and a plot of land with teaching building and dormitories, in Nendaz, Switzerland.

The total consideration for the acquisition is CHF29.12 million ($39.8 million). The group intends to start a hospitality management school, a design school and a Swiss International Baccalaureate school in Switzerland using the facilities at the Colonie.

The Colonie is a 12,000 square metres of land with two buildings for use as teaching rooms, accommodation and canteen, as well as basketball court and lawns. The Colonie is owned by the Sports Department of the Swiss Canton, Neuchatel.

The hotel sits on 5,910 square metres of land. It has a total built-up area of 9,895 square metres consisting of 62 hotel rooms, restaurants, bars, conference room and facilities, 47 car park lots and a 2,200 square metres well equipped spa. The hotel was completed in December 2013 and has since been leased out to a hotel operator for a period of 10 years.

The commercial units, owned by an individual, occupies 911 square metres and are located at the ground floor of the hotel complex. Currently, four of the units are rented out with the remaining intended for own use.

Raffles Education said the acquisition of the hotel will enable students to gain valuable hospitality experience through internships at the hotel. The commercial units will allow the group to conduct short courses.

The acquisitions will be funded through a combination of bank borrowings and internal resources, said the company.

UOB beats its drums over China business

United Overseas Bank sounded a positive note over its business in China, with plans to boost the number of branches it operates there as well as to expand its retail network.

 This comes as the bank’s China unit has grown its revenue by at least 10% every year for the past five years, and plans to at least maintain this pace of growth over the next five years.

“We are going to more than double the number of banking network from eight to 17 by end of the year, including one in Chongqing that will open this coming Friday, as well as one in Suzhou by end of the year,” said Eric Lian, CEO of UOB (China). This will put the bank in 11 major cities across China, he added.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

OSIM's business not hurt by China slowdown, says CIMB

OSIM International’s business in China is still humming along despite a more competitive operating environment and a slowdown in consumer spending in certain sectors, according to CIMB.

While the downturn in China’s property sector is real, there has no noticeable slowdown in overall consumption habits in the world’s second-largest economy, where incomes are still rising, CIMB analysts Kenneth Ng and Justin Chiam say in a note to clients.

Beijing’s clampdown on corruption also does not affect OSIM’s China sales, as the massage chair maker’s products are typically bought for personal consumption and not for gifting, they add.

OSIM’s focus in China is on tier-1 and tier-2 cities, where the company has an average of 20 to 30 stores in each city, they note. In tier-3 cities, where incomes are lower, a store count of one to two is “good enough for now”.

OSIM’s planned rollout of its TWG brand is also on track. It now has 39 TWG outlets, up from 26 at end-2013, following recent openings of several stores in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing.

TWG will likely have 42 to 45 TWG outlets by end-2015.

Despite their upbeat assessment of OSIM, Ng and Chiam have cut their price target for OSIM to $4.29 from $4.60 after lowering their FY2014 and FY2015 earnings estimates by 7% to factor in the impact of dilution arising from the company’s recent sale of zero-coupon convertible bonds.

Their “add” rating is intact.

Shares of OSIM are up 0.8% at $2.63 at 3:42 pm Singapore time.

BreadTalk shares rebound; HK oil scandal no concern - OSK-DMG

Shares of BreadTalk Group were up 2.3% at $1.36 today as investors started to nibble after the stock fell yesterday to its lowest level in more than a week.

The counter was down for the fifth straight session yesterday on broad market weakness and ongoing concerns about the company’s products in Hong Kong, where authorities have ordered a ban on all lard and lard products supplied by a Taiwanese firm caught in a scandal over cooking oil.

Two of BreadTalk’s stores in Hong Kong were among hundreds of retailers and distributors found by the authorities to have used or sold lard oil blended with recycled waste oil supplied by Taiwanese firm Chang Guann.

Hundreds of bakeries and restaurants in Hong Kong and Taiwan had to remove some products off their shelves following a government recall of the oil.

“While two of BreadTalk’s outlets in Hong Kong used lard oil supplied by Chang Guann for their polo buns, it is not accused of any wrongdoings as long as the affected products were recalled,” says OSK-DMG.

“The company has since ceased usage of the affected oil. This has no major impact on our forecasts,” says the broking house, which has a “buy” rating and $2 price target on BreadTalk.

Current buying interest in the stock is low, based on its subdued volume. Resistance is seen at the current September high of $1.425. Year to date, the stock is up about 50%.

Triyards to place out 29.5 million new shares at 70 cents each to raise $20.7 million

SINGAPORE (Sept 17): Triyards Holdings is planning to place out 29.5 million new shares at 70 cents each institutional investors to raise up to $20.7 million.

The placement price of 70 cents represents a discount of 8.33% to the volume weighted average price of 76.36 cents per share for trades done on the SGX on Sept 15.

The placement shares also represent 9.1% of the enlarged issued and paid up share capital of the company of 324.5 million shares after the placement.

After deducting estimated placement expenses of $0.69 million, Triyards will receive net proceeds of $19.96 million.

Up to 90% of the net proceeds will be used to fund business expansion, including acquisitions. The balance will be utilised for general corporate purposes and working capital.

Triyards is down 3.95% at 73 cents as of 2:03 pm Singapore time.