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Read-Throughs from Singapore's Upcoming Election

Conclusion: We expect recent concessions to help return the PAP to power with a sweeping majority. Moreover, we expect further sheltering of the Singaporean consumer/voter in the form of additional tightening via currency revaluation. Given, we remain bullish on the Singapore dollar for the intermediate-term TREND.

 

Position: Bullish on the Singapore Dollar for the intermediate-term TREND and long-term TAIL.

 

Yesterday, it was announced that Singapore will hold general elections on May 7, which came as a slight surprise to us, given that they could, in theory, be held anytime before February 2012. Less surprising, however, is Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President S.R. Nathan’s decision to dissolve parliament in an effort take advantage of Singapore’s robust 1Q11 economic growth rate(s) to subtly influence an increasingly less content voter base to re-elect their party to power.

 

This may turn out to be a shrewd move, given the consensus view of “uncertainty” surrounding the global economy. From our vantage point, however, there’s nothing uncertain about it – the dominant macro theme we’ve maintained since just before the beginning of the year is that “growth is slowing as inflation accelerates”. Our quantitative models have Singaporean GDP growth slowing in 2Q11 and the trend in Singaporean CPI accelerating into the early summer.

 

To a large extent, Singaporean officials agree with these forecasts; the central bank’s 2011 CPI estimate was recently revised up to the upper end of the 3%-4% range and the somewhat hasty call to hold the election in the next few weeks tells us that they think growth is setup to slow from here as well. At the bare minimum, they don’t have a near-term acceleration in their GDP forecast; if they did, they would’ve likely scheduled the election for a later date.

 

To protect their party’s current 46-year stranglehold of the city-state’s officialdom, the People’s Action Party (PAP) is doing what it can to “buy votes” in the form of cash handouts (see: February’s “Growth Dividend”) and accommodative rhetoric (see: recent immigration concessions). All in, 87 parliamentary seats will be contested in the upcoming vote; 82 are currently held by PAP lawmakers. Moreover, the party won the 2006 election with 67% of the vote – down from 75% in 2001. Any further erosion in their margin of victory could potentially force the PAP to favor more populist legislation, on the margin.

 

Regarding the key election issue of immigration specifically, the PAP has recently hinted that it would slow the intake of immigrants, which, on the margin, is bearish for Singapore’s long-term growth potential, given that tax incentives aimed at highly-educated foreigners have helped Singapore grow its population by nearly 20% in the last five years alone. On the flip side, disgruntled natives have made their complaints about crowded public transportation, increased competition for labor, and less prime housing availability as loud as ever in recent months. Accelerating consumer prices is also something the government will have to continue to address, likely through tighter monetary policy.

 

Net-net, we expect recent concessions to help return the PAP to power with a sweeping majority. Moreover, we expect further sheltering of the Singaporean consumer/voter in the form of additional tightening via currency revaluation. Given, we remain bullish on the Singapore dollar for the intermediate-term TREND – particularly against the USD, which is currently hinting at a crash in the coming months. Stay tuned.

 

Darius Dale

Analyst

 

Read-Throughs from Singapore's Upcoming Election - 2


Europe: Sweden Hikes Rate as PIIGS Tumble

Positions in Europe: Long British Pound (FXB)

 

Sweden raised its benchmark repo rate 25bps today to 1.75%, the sixth time since July 2010. Today’s hike further confirms the proactive policy measures taken by Sweden’s central bank (Riksbank) and government to in particular control inflation and spur investment. (Please see our note on 4/15 titled “Sweden in the Sweet Spot” for our fundamental take on the country).  The Swedish Krona reacted favorably to the hike, rallying against all major currencies this morning and to its strongest level against the USD since August ‘08!  As the chart below presents, we’ve seen associated strength in the Krona vs the USD with every rate hike since July 2010, a trend we’d largely expect to continue throughout the year.

 

Europe: Sweden Hikes Rate as PIIGS Tumble - Sweden1

 

 

-We continue to express the severe turn we’ve seen in the capital markets of Europe’s peripheral countries while also noting a slight negative inflection in the data from Europe’s larger (and fiscally sober) countries like Germany, France, and the Netherlands.

 

Yields Ramp for PIIGS

 

Today both Spain and Portugal issued debt. Recent weeks have shown a strong reversal in the trend we saw in early 2011 of PIIGS issuing debt at lower yields than previous auctions, largely a response to the commitment from China and Japan to buy European debt.

 

Spain sold €3.4 billion of treasury bonds at auction today and the 10YR yield jumped to 5.472% versus 5.162% in March. Interestingly, Portugal issued €320 million of six-month bills today at nearly the same yield as Spain’s 10YR, or 5.529% versus 5.117% on April 6.

 

The clear take-away here is the risk premium imbedded in owning Portugal’s debt, which should continue to heighten as the size and structure of an EU/IMF-led bailout of Portugal remains at large, and given the election results in Finland that saw the euro skeptic/anti-bailout parties take voting share (for more see our post on 4/18 “European Risk Monitor: Peripheral Risk Pops as Finnish Elections Inflect”). As a calendar catalyst to monitor, the expectation is for a bailout of Portugal in mid-May, ahead of the June 5 election date set by the current interim government.

 

A familiar chart of 10YR bond yields of the PIIGS (below) continues to be telling of the debt refinancing headwinds these countries are bumping against. Greece’s 10YR hockey stick yield is now at 14.65%!

 

Europe: Sweden Hikes Rate as PIIGS Tumble - yieldsheut

 

 

Data Drag

 

Yesterday Reuters issued its initial April reading of Manufacturing and Services PMI for Germany, France and the Eurozone. A notable call-out is the inflection in the German Services PMI number, registering 57.7 in April versus 60.1 in March.  We called for the German Services number to mean revert in a post titled “Germany’s Marginal Turn” on 4/12, with the tag-line that the 60 line is a historically heavy resistance level.  Eurozone Services also declined month-over-month, falling to 56.9 in April versus 57.2 in March.

 

We think the inflection in some of the high frequency data is a reflection of the marginal slowing in European growth expectations (especially in Germany) and that the slight dip or deceleration in consumer and business confidence reflects inflationary pressures and continued macro volatility, including sovereign debt contagion in Europe, instability in MENA and around Japan’s nuclear reactor(s) and rebuild, and US political indecision regarding its debt and weak USD policy.

 

Of note, tomorrow we get German business expectations from the IFO survey. The March figure turned down to 106.5 vs 107.9 in February. We think we’re likely to get a lower April figure.

 

 

Currency Positioning

 

We have a positive bias on both the EUR and GBP versus the USD due primarily to USD weakness. Due to the strong daily push/pull headline risk in Europe on the common currency, we view the EUR-USD as a trade to monitor on a daily basis. That said, we have a bullish immediate term outlook on the EUR-USD, with TRADE levels at $1.42 - $1.45, and think that Portugal, like Greece and Ireland, will be bailed out by the EU/IMF, which is increasingly being priced in.

 

The Bank of England continues to signal a hawkish stance on interest rates, however has not come off its 0.50% benchmark rate. The most recent BoE minutes show 6 votes against to 3 votes for a rate hike. Importantly, BoE head King recognizes inflationary threats to the economy, a position ignored by Ben Bernanke at the Fed, and in our opinion a major dislocating factor feeding USD weakness.

 

Besides our long position in the British Pound (FXB), we have no other current European country or currency position in the Hedgeye Virtual Portfolio. We covered our short position in Spain (EWP) on weakness on 4/18 for a TRADE, but remain bearish on the country’s outlook over the long-term TAIL.

 

Matthew Hedrick

Analyst



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TALES OF THE TAPE: CAKE, YUM, MCD, WEN, PZZA, KONA, CAKE, BJRI

Notable news items and price action from yesterday, along with our fundamental view on select names.

  • CAKE estimates were raised at Janney driven by superior positioning within the casual dining segment, as well as recently improving segment sales trends.
  • YUM’s Taco Bell is going on the offensive.  After the plaintiff dropped a law suit over Taco Bell’s beef, the company is now looking to set the record straight via various media outlets and reiterate that its products’ quality has not been compromised.
  • MCD’s first National Hiring Day was awarded with a strong response from job seekers.  The company planned to hire 50,000 people in one day, boosting its staff by about 7%.
  • WEN and PZZA both traded down on accelerating volume.
  • KONA, CAKE, and BJRI shares gained on accelerating volume.  CAKE and BJRI report today after the close.  RT shares declined 2.7% on accelerating volume.  The stock is down 11% over the last thirty days.

TALES OF THE TAPE: CAKE, YUM, MCD, WEN, PZZA, KONA, CAKE, BJRI - stocks 420

 

 

Howard Penney

Managing Director


GALAXY 1Q2011 CONF CALL NOTES

Galaxy posts another strong quarter

 

 

HIGHTLIGHTS FROM THE RELEASE

  • GEG Group EBITDA of HK$712MM
  • Starworld EBITDA HK$664MM and revenue of HK$5,726MM
    • Turnover: HK$151BN
    • Win %: 2.9%
    • Net win: HK$4.4BN
    • EBITDA margin under GAAP would have been 23%
    • Annual ROI of 69% as of 1Q11
    • Occupancy 97%
  • City Clubs EBITDA of HK$57MM
  • Construction materials EBITDA of HK$68MM
  • Galaxy Macau on schedule and budget for May 15th opening
    • initial opening: 1,400 rooms, 50 F&B outlets, 30 retail shops, 450 tables and 1,100 slots
  • Cash: HK$4.2BN
  • "In 1Q 2011, all of the HK$1.3BN convertible notes converted into 173MM shares of common"

CALL NOTES

  • HK$11BN has been invested into Galaxy Macau as of March 31st.  7,600 team members on opening day.
  • Will conduct full simulations for 3 weeks before opening - with 8-10k people
  • Actively exploring developing plans for their remaining land bank

Q&A

  • Have 7,100 employees on the payroll at Galaxy Macau currently
  • Target return is mid to high teens for Galaxy Macau
  • Will operate 10 VIP / junket rooms upon opening Galaxy Macau
  • Split between Mass & VIP tables: 150 VIP and 300 Mass
  • What are they doing on the promotional front for Galaxy Macau?
    • They have been working their marketing program with Banyan Tree and Okura for a year now 
    • Working with travel executives in all the main Chinese cities
    • Visiting travel agencies throughout agency as well
    • Engaged in digital marketing through social media and through their website
    • Program of taxi cabs, buses, and MTR station advertising in HK (first of its kind that MTR has done - they have the exclusive right to advertise inside the station)
    • Have over 70 shuttle buses that will be operating in Macau 
  • They are moving some of the tables from Starworld to Galaxy Macau

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK

TODAY’S S&P 500 SET-UP - April 20, 2011

 

As we look at today’s set up for the S&P 500, the range is 25 points or -0.20% downside to 1310 and 1.70% upside to 1335.

 

SECTOR AND GLOBAL PERFORMANCE

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - daily sector view

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - BEST PERFORMING GLOBAL

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - WORST PERFORMING GLOBAL

 

 

EQUITY SENTIMENT:

  • ADVANCE/DECLINE LINE: +1026 (+2908)  
  • VOLUME: NYSE 836.38 (-19.8%)
  • VIX:  15.83 -6.7% YTD PERFORMANCE: -4.45%
  • SPX PUT/CALL RATIO: 1.80 from 2.11 (-10.82%)

 

CREDIT/ECONOMIC MARKET LOOK:

  • TED SPREAD: 21.291  22.305
  • 3-MONTH T-BILL YIELD: 0.06%
  • 10-Year: 3.39 from 3.40
  • YIELD CURVE: 2.71 from 2.71

 

MACRO DATA POINTS:

  • 07:00a.m.: MBA Mortgage Applications, Apr 15, 5.3% actual
  • 10:00 a.m.: Existing Home Sales, est 5.0m, 4.88m prior

 

WHAT TO WATCH:

  • DoJ said to query market participants about how takeover of NYSE would affect competition in equity listings
  • Chi-X Global said to be in advanced talks with four banks, trading firms to sell minority stake: FT
  • Berkshire Partners in talks to buy Husky Injection Molding Systems in deal that could be worth up to $2b: Globe and Mail
  • EBay may announce as soon as today purchase of WHERE, service that lets mobile-phone users get info. on nearby businesses
  • AES agreed to buy DPL Inc. for $3.5b in cash, adding more than 500k customers in Ohio, AES said earlier today
  • Panasonic set to announce plans to move its North American HQ to Newark, New Jersey, later today

 

COMMODITY/GROWTH EXPECTATIONS:

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - daily commodity view

 

 

COMMODITY HEADLINES FROM BLOOMBERG:

  • Gold Exceeds $1,500 as Dollar Drops on Concern About U.S., European Debts
  • Sugar Exports From Thailand to Climb 36% as Yields Surge on La Nina Rains
  • Copper Rises as Dollar Weakens; Aluminum Reaches Highest Price Since 2008
  • Tepco's LNG Imports to Jump 50% as Japan Rewrites Policy: Energy Markets
  • Wheat Set for Longest Advance in Three Months on Dry Weather; Corn Climbs
  • Sugar Rises for Second Day as Brazil Supply May Be Delayed; Coffee Climbs
  • Cotton Farmers in China Fail to Boost Crop, Top Agency Says; Prices Climb
  • India May Ease Sugar, Wheat Export Bans Amid Predictions for Normal Rains
  • China Issues Emergency Notice to Curb Aluminum Projects Amid Overcapacity
  • Cotton Moving Average Signals 12% Drop, FCStone Says: Technical Analysis
  • Cut Diamonds Outpacing Gold Still `Grossly Undervalued': Chart of the Day
  • Rusal May Reach Agreement on $4 Billion Syndicated Loan as Early as May
  • Corn, Cotton Rallies May Weaken as U.S. Output Shifts, Deere's Allen Says
  • Hindalco, Sterlite Said to Have Doubled Copper Refining Fees After Quake 

 

CURRENCIES:

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - daily currency view

 

 

EUROPEAN MARKETS:

  • European Stocks Rise as Peugeot, L’Oreal Sales Spur Confidence in Recovery
  • Bank of England Voted 6-3 to Hold Rate as Majority Highlighted ‘Downside’
  • Company Refinancing, Sovereign Debt Hurt European Recovery, Moody’s Says
  • Peugeot First-Quarter Sales Rise 10% on New Models, Emerging Market Demand
  • Vodafone May Consider IPO of Indian Joint Venture After 2011, Colao Says
  • ECB Raising Rates May Turn Into Mistake Weakening Euro, Standard Life Says
  • Cat Bonds Find Bottom After Quake Triggers Biggest Losses: Credit Markets
  • Long Bond Scrapped as Yield Gap Nears Widest Since January: Russia Credit
  • Farmers Get Rich as Wheat Trade Gives Deere Record Profit: Freight Markets
  • Yen, Dollar Decline as Stocks Gain; Euro Advances on Interest-Rate Outlook
  • Audi Targets ‘Suburban Mommies’ With Compact SUV Rivaling BMW’s X1 Model
  • Skyscraper Boom Reaches End as City of London Goes 'From Vanity to Sanity'

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - BEST PERFORMING EURO

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - WORST PERFORMING EURO

 

 

ASIA PACIFIC MARKETS:

  • Asian Stocks Rise as U.S. Housing, Earnings Boost Confidence; BHP Advances
  • Li’s ‘Superman’ Status Tested in Hong Kong as Yuan IPO Meets Tepid Demand
  • China Mobile First-Quarter Profit Rises, Helped by Wireless Internet Usage
  • Thailand Raises Benchmark Interest Rate to 2.75% as Inflation Accelerates
  • Power Bonds Rally Before First Global Bond Offering of 2011: India Credit
  • China Issues Emergency Notice to Restrict Aluminum Projects; Prices Jump
  • Indonesian Millionaire Uno Sees More Buyouts as Conglomerates Sell Units
  • Vedanta May Use $1.5 Billion Cairn India Purchase as Hedge for Open Offer
  • Acer Declines to Lowest in Two Years After Cutting Forecast for Shipments
  • Tepco's LNG Imports to Jump 50% as Japan Rewrites Policy: Energy Markets
  • New York Loses to Shanghai as Toyoda, Ghosn Head to China’s Top Auto Show
  • Christchurch Banker Exodus After Quake is Aftershock For Property Market

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - BEST PERFORMING ASIA

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - WORST PERFORMING ASIA

 

 

MIDDLE EAST:

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - MIDEAST PERFORMANCE

 

THE HEDGEYE DAILY OUTLOOK - levels 420

 

 

Howard Penney

Managing Director


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