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Reports Asia

Asian stock market, economy and companies update (May 19, 2014)

May 19, 2014, Monday, 06:22 GMT | 02:22 EST | 10:52 IST | 12:22 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News

- China property names are leading the broader mainland index lower on further signs of decelerating price growth in the housing sector. Most notably, April Y/Y price growth in all-70 cities slowed to 6.7% from 7.7% in March - the slowest rate in 11 months. Tier-1 city slowdown was also pronounced, though growth rates remain higher relative to smaller and more speculative locations - Beijing new home price growth fell to 8.9% v 10.3% prior while that of Shanghai fell to 11.5% v 13.1% prior. A researcher with property agency Centaline said that over 30 cities in China were now expected to ease controls on the property market due to cooling conditions, up from the current 8 cities reported to have reversed their tightening campaigns.

- In other economic data, Thailand GDP was in contraction in Q1, reflecting some of the recent political turmoil. State planning agency also lowered its 2014 GDP growth forecast to 1.5-2.5% from 3.0-4.0% prior and export growth to 3.7% from 5.0-7.0% prior forecast. Japan machine orders figures were unusually strong in March, reflecting the impressive prelim Q1 GDP figures that saw corporate CAPEX rise 4.9% v 1.4% prior. Japan govt also upgraded its assessment on Machinery Orders, noting the rising trend. BOJ will announce its latest policy statement later this week.

- Monday merger mania has seen some material developments from some of the biggest names on the block. AT&T announced it would buy DirecTV for $95/shr in stock and cash in a deal valued at $67.1B. The agreement has already been approved unanimously by the Boards of Directors of both companies. Under the terms, DIRECTV shareholders will receive $95.00 per share under the terms of the merger, comprised of $28.50 per share in cash and $66.50 per share in AT&T stock, but AT&T will also have to divest its interest in America Movil to facilitate the regulatory approval process in Latin America.

- Pfizer announced it is raising the cash component in its $117B bid for AstraZeneca to £55/shr (or 45% from 33% in the initial offer). In detail, Pfizer is is offering AstraZeneca shareholders, for each AstraZeneca share, 1.747 shares in the combined entity and 2,476 pence in cash, representing an indicative value of £55.002. Pfizer also said the proposal is final and cannot be increased, but also that it will not go hostile if the bid is rejected.

- The blockbuster announcements are dwarfing a $1B acquisition of a video game streaming site Twitch by Google. An update on the GE-Siemens bidding war for Alstom may enter a new phase as early as this week, with Siemens reportedly preparing a formal offer to counter GE.

***Fixed Income/Commodities/Currencies***
- (JP) BOJ offers to buy ¥110B in JGB with maturity below 1-yr, ¥400B in 5-10yr JGB, ¥2.5T in T-bills and ¥400B in CP
- (KR) South Korea sells 10-year govt Bonds; avg yield 3.38%
- (RU) Russia Pres Putin: Gas contract with China has been nearly finalized - financial press
- GLD: SPDR Gold Trust ETF daily holdings fall 0.3 tonnes to 782.0 tonnes

US markets:
- JCI: Forms JV for automotive interiors with SAIC's Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems
- AAPL: Apple and Google have agreed to dismiss all the current lawsuits that exist directly between the two companies
- DTV: AT&T to buy DirecTV for $95/shr in stock and cash deal valued at $67.1B; AT&T to divest its interest in America Movil
- FB: Said to be developing its own video-chat app known as Slingshot to rival Snapchat - FT
- AZN: Pfizer said to be making improved bid for AstraZeneca - financial press; Pfizer raises cash component for AstraZeneca bid to £55/shr ($117B total); Cash component increased to 45% from 33%; Proposal is final
- GOOG: Said to be nearing deal to acquire video game streaming site Twitch for over $1B - financial press

Notable movers by sector:
- Consumer Discretionary: Goodman Fielder GFF.AU +4.1% (shareholder raises stake); Sichuan Chengfei Integration Technology Corp 002190.CN +10.0% (announces restructure plan); Family Mart 8028.JP +0.5% (raises FY14/15 guidance)
- Financials: Nomura Holdings 8604.JP +1.6% (to launch business in Shanghai free trade zone)
- Materials: Discovery Metals Ltd DML.AU +21.4% (to cut debt); Beadell Resources BDR.AU -1.9% (2014 guidance)
- Energy: China Coal Energy 1898.HK -0.2% (Apr production results)
- Industrials: Bradken BKN.AU -4.9% (announces reorganization plan); Elders ELD.AU +4.4% (H1 results)
- Healthcare: Kangmei Pharmaceutical 600518.CN -2.9% (preferred shares issuance plan); Terumo 4543.JP +1.8% (plans to boost manufacturing)

***Economic Data***
- (JP) JAPAN MAR MACHINE ORDERS M/M: 19.1% V 5.8%E (4-year high); Y/Y: 16.1% V 4.3%E; Govt raises assessment on machinery orders
- (TH) THAILAND Q1 GDP Q/Q: -2.1% V -2.2%E; Y/Y: -0.6% V 0.5%E
- (NZ) NEW ZEALAND APR PERFORMANCE SERVICES INDEX: 58.9 V 58.5 PRIOR (highest level since Nov 2007)
- (UK) UK MAY RIGHTMOVE HOUSE PRICES M/M: 3.6% V 2.6% PRIOR; Y/Y: 8.9% V 7.3% PRIOR (12-year high)
- (IL) Israel Q1 Advance GDP Annualized: 2.1% v 2.9% prior

Market Snapshot (as of 03:30 GMT):
- Nikkei225 +0.1%, S&P/ASX -0.9%, Kospi -0.1%, Shanghai Composite -1.1%, Hang Seng -0.3%, Jun S&P500 flat at 1,875, Jun gold +0.1% at $1,294, Jun crude oil +0.2% at $102.19/brl