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Daily Debrief: What Happened Today
The Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) has issued an infringement decision against 10 financial advisers in Singapore who have been found to have infringed the Competition Act by engaging in an anti-competitive agreement to pressurise their competitor, iFAST, to withdraw its offer of a 50 per cent commission rebate on competing life insurance products on the Fundsupermart.com website.
Amid economic headwinds, sentiment among SMEs has dipped to "neutral" after six straight years of optimism, according to the latest SBF-DP SME Index. The overall index score fell 1.1 points to 50.0, a score which indicates that SMEs do not expect to achieve any growth during the next six months.
Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (NODX) bounced back from a 10.1 per cent year-on-year plunge in January to rise 2.1 per cent in February, beating market expectations of a 2.6 per cent dip.
Increased competition and the economic slowdown hurt underwriting profit of Singapore's general insurance industry in 2015, even as total gross premiums rose.
Singapore-listed Noble Group is in advanced talks to raise a large unsecured loan from banks that will help repay its debt maturing in May, the loss-making commodity trader's head of treasury said, a move that could help it win back investor confidence.
Fullerton Fund Management Co, owned by Singapore's Temasek Holdings, has hired Pranay Gupta as head of multi-asset strategies, a new role that it has created as it seeks to offer more investment offerings combining different asset classes.
The STI Today
The "bad news is good for stocks" mode of investing made its unsurprising return on Thursday as the Straits Times Index (STI) rose 35.96 points to 2,880.17 in response to the US Federal Reserve's Wednesday decision to keep interest rates unchanged and the likelihood that it will only raise rates twice this year instead of four times because of the weakening economic outlook.