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What’s the forecast for Alibaba following ‘upbeat’ results?

The price of Chinese e-commerce and technology group Alibaba Group Holding’s US-listed securities (NYSE: BABA) rose slightly after its Q1 financial results were announced on Thursday 20 August 2020. Alibaba’s American depository shares (ADS) eventually finished the day roughly 0.43% up at US$257.90 per share, based on live IG estimates.

The price of Chinese e-commerce and technology group Alibaba Group Holding’s US-listed securities (NYSE: BABA) rose slightly after its Q1 financial results were announced on Thursday 20 August 2020.

Alibaba’s American depository shares (ADS) eventually finished the day roughly 0.43% up at US$257.90 per share, based on live IG estimates.

Meanwhile, the results appeared to have more impact on the company’s Hong Kong listing, with shares rallying 2.9% on Friday morning (21 August 2020).

Highlights from Alibaba’s Q1 report

Here are some things that stood out in Alibaba’s first quarter 2021 earnings for the three months ended 30 June 2020:

  • Revenue was 153.8 billion Chinese yuan (US$21.8 billion), an increase of 34% year-over-year.
  • Annual active consumers on our China retail marketplaces reached 742 million, an increase of 16 million from the 12-month period ended March 31, 2020.
  • Mobile monthly active users on China retail marketplaces reached 874 million in June 2020, an increase of 28 million over March 2020.
  • Income from operations was 34.7 billion Chinese yuan (US$4.9 billion), an increase of 42% year-over-year.
  • Net income attributable to ordinary shareholders was 47.6 billion Chinese yuan (US$6.7 billion), and net income was 46.4 billion yuan (US$6.6 billion)
  • Diluted earnings per ADS was 17.36 yuan (US$2.46) and non-GAAP diluted earnings per ADS was 14.82 yuan (US$2.10), an increase of 18% year-over-year.

Feeling optimistic about Alibaba?

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What do these results mean for Alibaba’s stock outlook?

June quarter revenue at US$21.8 billion surpassed Bloomberg analyst estimates of US$21.4 billion, even if only slightly (2%).

Adjusted non-GAAP earnings per ADS at 14.82 yuan (US$2.10) also exceeded projections of 13.8 yuan by a larger margin of 7.45%.

Most impressive is the firm’s earnings per ADS on an industry standard accounting (GAAP) basis, which came in at 17.36 yuan (US$2.46), smashing Bloomberg predictions by 89%.

In light of these higher earnings, Bloomberg Intelligence analysts posit that Alibaba may deliver robust sales and profit growth in the coming quarters at a pace similar to pre-pandemic levels, given that its domestic commerce and cloud-computing businesses appear to have fully recovered.

CMB International analyst Sophie Huang maintained her earlier price target of US$299.5 and rating of ‘buy’ following the report.

She cited the ‘upbeat’ performance as well as BABA’s potential in ‘capturing online consumption recovery and long term benefit from structural opportunities’ as key reasons for her bullish price outlook.

But with Chinese American Despository Receipts (ADRs) possibly facing delisting on US stock exchanges by the end of the next calendar year, investors would be wise to explore Alibaba’s Hong Kong securities as well.

As of 21 August 2020, Alibaba’s American shares have received an average 12-month price target of US$294.03 alongside a ‘buy’ rating from 64 analysts polled by Bloomberg.

How to trade Alibaba with IG

Are you feeling bullish or bearish on the Alibaba stock? Either way you can buy (long) or sell (short) the asset using derivatives like CFDs offered on IG’s industry-leading trading platform in a few easy steps:

  1. Create a live or demo IG Trading Account, or log in to your existing account
  2. Enter <Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (All Sessions)> or <Alibaba Group Holding Limited (HK)> in the search bar and select the instrument
  3. Choose your position size
  4. Click on ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ in the deal ticket
  5. Confirm the trade
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Daily Financial News

Don’t Count On JPY Correction; Staying Long GBP/JPY

The path of the potential pace of the JPY decline may still be underestimated by markets, which continue trading the JPY long.

While the 10% USDJPY advance from September lows looks impressive from a momentum point of view, it may no thave been driven by Japan’s institutional investors reducing their hedging ratios or Japan’s household sector reestablishing carry trades.

Instead, investors seemed to have been caught on the wrong foot, concerned about a sudden decline of risk appetite or the incoming US administration being focused on trade issues and not on spending. Spending requires funding and indeed the President-elect Trump’s team appears to be focused on funding. Here are a few examples: Reducing corporate taxation may pave the way for US corporates repatriating some of their USD2.6trn accumulated foreign profits. Cutting bank regulation could increase the risk-absorbing capacity within bank balance sheets. Hence, funding conditions – including for the sovereign – might generally ease. De-regulating the oil sector would help the trade balance, slowing the anticipated increase in the US current account deficit. The US current account deficit presently runs at 2.6% of GDP, which is below worrisome levels. Should the incoming government push for early trade restrictions, reaction (including Asian sovereigns reducing their holdings) could increase US funding costs, which runs against the interest of the Trump team.

Instead of counting on risk aversion to stop the JPY depreciation, we expect nominal yield differentials and the Fed moderately hiking rates to unleash capital outflows from Japan.The yield differential argumenthas become more compelling with the BoJ turning into yield curve managers. Via this policy move, rising inflation rates push JPY real rates and yields lower, which will weaken the JPY. Exhibit 12 shows how much Japan’s labor market conditions have tightened. A minor surge in corporate profitability may now be sufficient, pushing Japan wages up and implicity real yields lower.

JPY dynamics are diametrical to last year . Last year, the JGB’s “exhausted”yield curve left the BoJ without a tool to push real yields low enough to adequately address the weakened nominal GDP outlook. JPY remained artificially high at a time when the US opted for sharply lower real yields. USDJPY had to decline, triggering JPY bullish secondround effects via JPY-based financial institutions increasing their FX hedge ratios and Japan’s retail sector cutting its carry trade exposures. Now the opposite seems to be happening. The managed JGB curve suggests rising inflation expectations are driving Japan’s real yield lower. The Fed reluctantly hiking rates may keep risk appetite supported but increase USD hedging costs.Financial institutions reducinghedge ratios and Japan’s household sector piling back into the carry trade could provide secondround JPY weakening effects

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Daily Financial News

Mexico raises interest rates, cites Trump as risk

The head of Mexico’s central bank says U.S. Republican candidate Donald Trump represents a “hurricane” sized threat to Mexico.

Banco de Mexico Gov. Agustin Carstens told the Radio Formula network Friday that a Trump presidency “would be a hurricane and a particularly intense one if he fulfills what he has been saying in his campaign.”

Trump has proposed building a wall along the border and re-negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mexico’s central bank raised its prime lending rate by half a percent to 4.75 percent Thursday, citing “nervousness surrounding the possible consequences of the U.S. elections, whose implications for Mexico could be particularly significant.”

Mexico’s peso had lost about 6 percent in value against the dollar since mid-August. It recovered slightly after the rate hike

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Financial News

Africa’s first Fairtrade certified gold co-operative offers hope to gold miners living in poverty

Syanyonja Artisan Miners’ Alliance (SAMA) has become the first artisanal small scale mining co-operative in Africa to become Fairtrade certified, bringing much needed hope to impoverished communities who risk their lives to mine the rich gold seam that runs around Lake Victoria.

SAMA is one of nine previously informal groups from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania which has benefitted from a pilot project launched by Fairtrade in 2013. This innovative program aims to extend the benefits of Fairtrade gold to artisanal miners across East Africa.

In that short time, SAMA has undergone training in business and entrepreneurship, as well as safe use of mercury, internal control systems, labour rights and better working conditions, health and safety and more. Previously, daily contact with toxic chemicals used to process gold meant members risked disease, premature births and even death.  Fairtrade gold was first launched in 2011, and SAMA now joins Fairtrade certified gold mines MACDESA, AURELSA and SOTRAMI in Peru.

The co-operative produces just 5 kg gold per year, but nevertheless has the potential to significantly benefit many people in the local community through better conditions through certification. It is expected that Fairtrade and organizations like Cred Jewellery will support the miners, ensuring their gold can be refined and made available to jewellers in the UK and other markets.

Gonzaga Mungai, Gold Manager at Fairtrade Africa said: “This is a truly momentous and historical achievement and the realisation of a dream that is many years in the making. Gold production is an important source of income for people in rural economies. Congratulations to SAMA, it sets a precedent which shows that if groups like this can achieve certification, then it can work for others right across the African continent.”

The Fairtrade Gold Standard encourages better practice and changes to come in line with international regulation around the production and trade of so-called ‘conflict minerals’. Under the Standard, miners are required to:

  • Uphold a human rights policy preventing war crimes, bribery, money laundering and child labour
  • Clearly represent where the minerals were mined
  • Minimise the risks of conflict minerals through robust risk assessments and collaboration across supply chains
  • Report to buyers and trading partners regarding the risks of conflict minerals

Now in its second phase, the programme will focus on supporting other mining groups in the region to access affordable loans and explore a phased approach to accessing the Fairtrade market, allowing more mining co-operatives across Africa to participate in the programme.

Gonzaga added: “Sourcing African metals from smallscale miners in the Great Lakes Region is the responsible thing to do. For a long time companies have avoided buying gold from this region, with devastating consequences for impoverished communities who were already struggling. It has driven trade deeper underground, as unscrupulous buyers pay lower prices and launder illegal gold into legitimate supply chains. That’s why we have chosen to work with these groups to help them earn more from their gold within a robust compliance system that offers social, environmental, and economic protections.”

The Fairtrade gold programme offers a small but scalable solution to sustainable sourcing of gold from the region in line with Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act in the US, OECD Due Diligence Guidance and recent EU Supply-Chain Due Diligence proposals which could come into effect in 2016. This means that up to 880,000 EU firms that use tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold in manufacturing consumer products could be obliged to provide information on steps they have taken to identify and address risks in their supply chains for so-called ‘conflict minerals’.

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