MARKET UPDATES :
- EVENTS caterer Neo Group’s net profit for the six months ended July fell 9.1 per cent, from S$2.8 million to S$2.5 million.This was mainly due to the bottom line not capturing the full length of the Chinese New Year season in the period, as well as an increase in the sales team and advertising costs to drive business growth. Revenue climbed 21.2 per cent, from S$23.1 million to S$28 million, boosted by an increase in sales for the food catering business and food retail business.A tax-exempt interim dividend of 1.05 Singapore cent per share was proposed.
- MAJOR companies in the Asean region remain firmly on their growth path, but they are increasingly using debt to finance a growing gap between cash inflows and investments, acquisitions and dividends. This, said Standard & Poor’s Rating Services, could pose a risk.”Asean companies are increasingly using debt to finance growth, and are likely to continue doing that over the next two years,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Xavier Jean. The ratings agency estimates that internal cash flows and cash balances could fund only about half of almost US$300 billion that Asean’s largest companies spent on expansion and acquisitions between 2008 and the first quarter of 2014. At the same time, these companies issued about US$150 billion of additional debt to bridge the gap.
- FORECASTERS are less optimistic about the Singapore economy than they were three months ago, according to the latest quarterly survey by Singapore’s central bank.The 22 private sector economists and analysts who responded to the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) survey in August expect the republic’s gross domestic product (GDP) to expand 3.3 per cent in 2014 – lower than the 3.8 per cent median forecast in the June edition of the survey.The slip was due to softer growth expectations for all sectors within the Singapore economy, except for the finance & insurance segment, where growth projections have been kept intact.
- Apple’s mobile wallet on the new iPhone 6, known as Apple Pay, will not be available in Singapore.”Apple Pay has been announced for the US only at this time,” said Fiona Martin, director of corporate communications at Apple in an emailed statement to the Business Times on Wednesday. “We have no further details as they relate to Singapore, however we will update you should any details be announced.”Apple Pay relies on a technology known as near field communication (NFC) to facilitate contactless payments.
- SINGAPORE Technologies Engineering’s (ST Engineering) aerospace arm will establish an aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facility at the Pensacola International Airport, said the group on Wednesday. Under the agreement, the City of Pensacola, which is in Florida, will construct an aircraft hangar complex on 18.66 acres of greenfield land and lease it to VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering (VT MAE) for 30 years.
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