Daily BriefsMacro

Macro: The NEW Week that Was in [email protected] – Omnibus Laws and more

In today’s briefing:

  • The NEW Week that Was in [email protected] – Omnibus Laws, Credit Costs, and Mr DIY
  • China A-Share Strategy: Deregulation in QFII/RQFII Scheme to Boost up Foreign Fund Inflow
  • Vietnam in Robust Health Despite Transient Threat of US S301 Action

The NEW Week that Was in [email protected] – Omnibus Laws, Credit Costs, and Mr DIY

By Angus Mackintosh

The week that was in [email protected] is filled with another eclectic mix of differentiated, substantive, and actionable insights from across South East Asia and includes macro, top-down and thematic pieces, as well as actionable equity bottom-up and credit insights over the past week.

We add below a NEW section, which includes emerging themes in ASEAN and selects important news flow or developments for commentary, which may impact SE Asian companies and markets.  

Macro Insights

In Vietnam in Robust Health Despite Transient Threat of US S301 Action, CrossASEAN Chief Economist Prasenjit K. Basu zeros IN on the Vietnamese economy, which has been a key beneficiary of trade diversion from China. 

In Asian Exports & COVID – Best Is Behind,Sharmila Whelan looks at the prospects for Asian Exports and sees a less attractive outlook ahead. 

Equity Bottom-Up Insights

In Indonesia, Media Nusantara Citra (MNCN IJ) – No Credit Given for Metamorphosis, CrossASEAN insight provider Angus Mackintosh examines an aggressive sell-off in Media Nusantara Citra (MNCN IJ) share price, despite announcing a reasonable set of 2Q2020 results, with especially strong growth coming from its digital advertising through RCTI+ and its YouTube Multichannel Network (MCN), which now has a staggering 101m subscribers.  

In Indomobil Sukses Internasional (IMAS IJ) Emerging Transport Monolith?, CrossASEAN insight Provider Angus Mackintosh revisits Indomobil Sukses Internasional (IMAS IJ), which is making meaningful progress towards being a leader in automotive and transport.

In Bank Mestika Dharma – September Quarter Reversals Surge, banking specialist Daniel Tabbush zeros in on this small Indonesian lender, which is one of the first to report earnings and reported an improvement and reversal of credit costs. 

In AMMB: Top Decile PH Score™ and VFM Asset,Paul Hollingworth zeros in on this Malaysia lender were he find a promising outlook and attractive valuations under his model.

In Singapore, Trade Ideas for Singapore REITs – Implications from CCT+CMT Merger, Sumeet Singh takes a look at the long drawn out merger of CCT+CMT finally approved with minimal resistance, with the little there was coming mostly from CCT holders, the combined entity will add to the bunch of listed REITs which offer a mix of office and retail exposure. 

In MR DIY IPO – Store Expansion Still Going Strong, Undemanding Valuation, IPO specialist Zhen Zhou, Toh revisits this IPO looking at its growth prospects and valuation. 

In Malaysia, Mr. D.I.Y. Group IPO: Valuation Insights, Arun George provides a view on why he believes that an attractive valuation and solid cornerstone support makes MR D.I.Y. Group (MRDIY MK) IPO tempting at the proposed price. 

In Malaysia, MR DIY IPO: Quality Homes, Shifara Samsudeen takes an initial look at Malaysia’s home improvement retailer Mr. D.I.Y.  which has filed for an IPO which will raise approximately RM1.5bn (US$362m), the largest listing in three years in Malaysia. The company has set the price at RM1.60 per share and is expected to list the IPO on the 14th of October.

In MR DIY IPO: Inexpensive Valuation Compared to Peers Despite Better Growth Profile,Shifara Samsudeen, provides us with her views on this upcoming Malaysian IPO. 

In Thailand, Kerry Express & Best Inc: Two Approaches to ECommerce Logistics Growth in SE Asia examines the different approaches pursued in eCommerce fulfillment in SE Asia by the upcoming IPO Kerry Express Thailand (KEX TB) and by BEST Inc (BEST US). 

In BGRIM: Positive Sentiments from Joining Hands with PEA ENCOM, our friends at Country Group expect the cooperation with PEA ENCOM will help B Grimm Power (BGRIM TB) to expand the SPP (Small Power Producer) client base and have synergy benefits of up to THB1.0bn from cost-saving and service efficiency. 

Sector and Thematic

In Indonesia Banks – Positives Clouded, But Persist, banking specialist Daniel Tabbush discusses why the country’s credit penetration remains low and margins remain higher than almost any other country. Due to the ill-conceived interruption of economies and a more conservative bank system due to the financial crisis in 1997, credit growth is now lower in Indonesia than in most other Asian-Pacific countries. 

In Thailand, Silicon Stories M: If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them, Thai specialist Athaporn Arayasantiparb, CFA takes a look at Bank Of Ayudhya (BAY TB),  which has realized that it is easier to partner with Internet startups than build businesses from scratch. 

In STI Index Rebalance: In the Race to Replace CCT, Finally Some Daylight Emerges,Brian Freitas looks at the upcoming Singapore STI Index rebalancing. 

Credit Insights

In Thai Bank Capital Constraints, Debt Capital Issuance Needs, and Potential Impact, Credit Specialist Hank Calenti, CFA discusses the potential for further capital issuance by Thai banks following Bangkok Bank Public (BBL TB)‘s recent bond issue. 

In Thai Bank Capital and Chronic COVID-19 Sensitivity,Hank Calenti, CFA dives into the potential scenarios for Thai Banks should COVID-19 loan relief decay become chronic. 

In Indonesia, The Plight of the Garuda, Credit Specialist Derek Silva,  examines Garuda’s financial condition, which is now becoming critical. 

China A-Share Strategy: Deregulation in QFII/RQFII Scheme to Boost up Foreign Fund Inflow

By Roger Xie

  • China securities watchdog revealed the latest reform on QFII/RQFII (Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor) scheme to further open up China domestic capital market. The new rule will become effective on Nov. 1, 2020. This is another milestone for China capital market reform and will boost up foreign fund inflow in the long-run. We have written the reform measures early this year: China A-Share Strategy: R/​QFII Quota Removal to Offer More Attractive Channel to Invest In China
  • The most significant changes are the additional investment products that foreign fund managers can participate: 1) non-hedging purpose investments in index futures/options, 2) margin financing and securities lending for short-selling purpose, 3) private investment funds, 4) FICC derivatives in commodity exchanges and inter-bank market. We believe these reforms could offer comprehensive investment solutions to sophisticated institutional investors.
  • Foreign Funds’ China A-share positions have accounted about 4% of A-share total market-cap, or 9% of A-share free-float market-cap by the end of 1H 2020. Nowadays, foreign investors have multiple channels to deploy their capital into China A-share market: QFII scheme, RMB-QFII scheme, or stock connect program via Hong Kong exchange (HKEX (388 HK)).  Given the increasing weight of China A-share in global benchmark indices, we believe foreign funds’ China A-share positions will continue to rise and will reach 10% of A-share total market-cap in next 10 years.

Vietnam in Robust Health Despite Transient Threat of US S301 Action

By Prasenjit K. Basu

The start of US investigations of Vietnam as a currency manipulator highlights Vietnam’s success as the key beneficiary of trade diversion from China as the US-China trade war accelerates. Vietnam’s trade surplus has scaled new heights this year, and it is one of the few economies globally that has avoided even a single quarter of YoY economic contraction. Although the US will conclude that Vietnam manipulates its currency, strategic considerations will preclude (or at least postpone) any countervailing actions by the US, although Vietnam will be persuaded to allow more US imports. We recommend staying Overweight this frontier market. 

The Trump administration is initiating an investigation of Vietnam’s currency practices under section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act. Vietnam’s bilateral trade surplus with the US (US$39.5 billion in 2018, US$55.8 billion in 2019, and US$42.4 billion in January-August 2020) is the fourth-largest such surplus among all US trading partners.  A preliminary investigation by the US Treasury and Commerce departments has already concluded that Vietnam is a currency manipulator — unsurprising, given that Vietnam has had current account surpluses for the past 8 years (5% of GDP in 2019) but its currency is about 10% weaker than 5 years ago, and foreign reserves have risen by a third in the last 12 months to a record high of US$83.4 billion. 

Although the technical finding will likely conclude that Vietnam is a currency manipulator, the US (especially under a potential Biden administration) will be unlikely to take overt action. Instead, the US will likely work behind the scenes to get Vietnam to import more from the US, including farm products, defense equipment and some manufactures. Vietnam’s strategic importance will prevent the US (even under an improbable second Trump term) from imposing sanctions, except as a tough negotiating tactic. However, the publicity around the issue will bring additional attention to the fact that Vietnam is the single biggest beneficiary of trade diversion from China as a result of the expanding US-China trade war. 

Vietnam has just 85 active cases of Covid-19, and has suffered just 35 deaths. Consequently, it is one among very few economies in Asia (and worldwide) that has not suffered even a quarter of YoY economic contraction (instead seeing real GDP grow 2.2% YoY in Jan-Sep 2020). More economic reform aimed at opening its equity market to foreign inflows, ensuring a higher free float for more of its listed companies, and accelerating the pace of privatization will become an additional focus in the year ahead. As these steps are adopted, the prospect will rise of Vietnam being included as an emerging market in MSCI indices no later than 2022. We recommend staying Overweight Vietnam in its final year or two as a frontier market. 

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