Welcome to this week’s edition of top stock market highlights.
Singapore Airlines Limited (SGX: C6L)
Singapore Airlines Limited, or SIA, has agreed with Tata Sons to merge Air India and Vistara.
SIA will inject around S$360 million into Air India as part of this deal, giving the former a 25.1% stake in the latter and a significant presence in key market segments.
Currently, SIA and Tata Sons hold a 49% and 51% stake in Vistara, respectively, while Tata Sons wholly owns Air India.
This merger is projected to complete by March 2024, subject to regulatory approvals, and will be fully funded by SIA’s internal cash resources.
Both SIA and Tata Sons will participate in any further capital injections needed for the enlarged Air India group, with a capital injection of up to S$880 million required after the merger is completed.
This transaction will benefit SIA by boosting its presence in India, thereby strengthening its multi-hub strategy, and also provide it with opportunities to expand in a fast-growing aviation market.
For context, India is the fastest-growing economy in the world and will become the third-largest nation in the globe by 2027. It is also the third-largest aviation market.
Demand for air travel is projected to more than double in the country in the next decade, and with low international seats per capita, India offers the promise of rapid growth in the years to come.
Both Vistara and Air India will complement each other’s capabilities and together, the merged entity will have a total of 218 aircraft serving 38 international and 52 domestic destinations.
Banks’ saving account rates
The local banks have continued to up their savings account interest rates in a bid to attract more deposits.
The latest bank to increase its maximum bonus interest rate is United Overseas Bank Ltd (SGX: U11), or UOB.
UOB more than doubled its maximum bonus interest rate on its One Account from 3.6% to 7.8%.
However, some conditions do apply.
This eye-popping rate is only applicable for balances between S$75,000 and S$100,000 where customers need to spend at least S$500 a month using an eligible UOB card as well as credit their salary of at least S$1,600 via GIRO.
OCBC Ltd (SGX: O39) is not far behind with a 7.65% maximum bonus interest rate on its bank account.
It pays 4.65% on the first S$100,000 in a customer’s account, on the condition that the customer credits a salary of S$1,800 or more through GIRO, increases their account balance by at least S$500 a month, and spends S$500 on certain credit cards.
Customers can only hit the maximum tier of 7.65% if they also invest and buy insurance through the lender.
DBS Group (SGX: D05) is also offering bonus rates on its flagship Multiplier Account but at a lower maximum of 4.1%.
This rate applies to the first S$100,000 in the account whereby the customer needs to credit an income stream and also transact in three categories with S$30,000 or more in eligible transactions.
SATS (SGX: S58)
SATS has finally unveiled the funding plan for its mega acquisition of Worldwide Flight Services (WFS).
Announced in late September, the airline ground handler provided few details back then on how the deal would be financed.
SATS share price also tumbled to a two-year low of S$3.08 when the announcement came out.
Since then, it has declined by another 10.7% to close at S$2.75.
The funding plan for the total acquisition cost of S$1.8 billion has three distinct sections comprising debt, equity and internal cash.
The debt portion involves tapping a S$700 three-year Euro-denominated term loan with an all-in cost of between 4% to 4.5% per annum.
For the equity funding raising (EFR) portion, SATS will launch a rights issue to raise approximately S$800 million.
No further details on the rights issue price or ratio have been announced, and the rights issue is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2023.
The remainder of the S$320 million will be financed through SATS’ existing cash balance.
Shareholders will be invited to attend an extraordinary general meeting to approve this proposed acquisition.
A circular will be sent in due course detailing the merits and characteristics of the deal to eligible shareholders.
Investors will have to wait till early next year to learn more details on the EFR portion, but the good news is that Temasek Holdings has already indicated its intention to subscribe for its pro-rata entitlement of the rights issue.
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Disclaimer: Royston Yang owns shares of DBS Group.