How to make sense of interest rate movements

By Beansprout • 04 Mar 2023 • 0 min read

China bounces back, Tesla's lacklustre investor day & Sembcorp Marine gets bigger

Weekly Sprout 4 March 2023 Cover
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If you’re looking at the news headlines to understand the latest interest rate changes this week, you’ll probably come across mixed signals. 

The cut-off yield on the latest 6-month Singapore T-bill rose to 3.98%.

The latest Singapore Savings Bond is now offering interest rates of above 3% once again.

The maximum interest rate on the UOB Stash Account was also raised to 5%. 

However, banks have been cutting the interest rates on fixed deposit accounts. Most notably, OCBC has stopped its 8-month fixed deposit offering 3.88% p.a. 

We analyse each of these developments to find out where is the best place to park our spare cash now. 


Weekly price index 4th March 2023
Source: Bloomberg. Price as of market close on 3 March

🚂 China economy running at full speed 

What happened? 

China manufacturing activity, as measured by the official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), rose to 52.6 in February, the highest since April 2012. 

What does this mean?

The strong PMI data provides an indication that economic activity in China is recovering strongly after the government relaxed on its zero-covid policies. 

A reading above 50 indicates that activity is expanding on a monthly basis. 

This is further supported by stronger than expected services PMI data, which also expanded at the fastest pace in six months. 

Why should I care? 

Hong Kong stocks and Chinese stocks listed in the US jumped as the strong economic data drove confidence in China’s recovery.   

However, not all companies benefited from the improvement in sentiment. Chinese EV stocks continue to languish following the results disappointment by Nio. 



  • Tesla’s latest investor day was lacking in specific details about its next electric vehicle,  disappointing some investors who were expecting that the company may unveil plans for a cheaper new electric car. 

  • Nio reported that its loss in the fourth quarter widened to RMB 5.8 billion from RMB 2.2 billion in the previous year. The company expects to deliver 31,000 to 33,000 vehicles in the first quarter, a 20-28% increase from the previous year.

  • Sembcorp Marine’s proposed combination with Keppel Offshore & Marine was completed on 28 February.

  • ComfortDelgro reported a net profit of $57.8 million in the second half of the year, 63% higher compared to the previous year. The company declared a final dividend of 1.76 cents and a special dividend of 2.46 cents per share to mark its 20th listing anniversary.

  • AEM Holdings reported a net profit of $43.9 million in the second half of the year, 30% lower compared to the previous year, as gross margin declined with supply chain challenges. The company targets a revenue of $500 million in 2023 due to limited visibility and anticipated volatility in the industry. 

Source: Bloomberg, CNBC, Financial Times, Business Times, Edge Singapore



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T-bill yield rises to 3.98%: Demand stays red-hot despite fixed deposit rush

The total amount of applications rose to S$13 billion in the latest T-bill auction on 2 March. 

T-bill auction 2 March 2023.jpg



  • Tuesday, 7 Mar: Sea Limited results
  • Thur, 9 Mar: results

Source: Bloomberg, SGX 



All 12,500 free air tickets to Hong Kong were snapped up within an hour of Cathay Pacific launching its giveaway in Singapore. The campaign, called World of Winners, is part of Hong Kong’s US$12.8 million campaign to revive its tourism sector. About 40 minutes after the launch in Singapore, Cathay Pacific put up a notice on its website saying that all the tickets had been awarded. 

Source: Channelnewsasia

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