|Bid||147.51 x 800|
|Ask||147.53 x 1300|
|Day's range||145.83 - 148.10|
|52-week range||109.16 - 157.00|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||0.72|
|PE ratio (TTM)||22.97|
|Earnings date||16 Jul 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||4.04 (2.79%)|
|Ex-dividend date||22 May 2020|
|1y target est||164.17|
(Bloomberg) -- South Korean bank stocks have gone from cheap to extremely cheap in a matter of months as concerns grow over their loan books tied to the nation’s flagging property sector.The MSCI Korea Financials Index, in which banks carry a 65% weighting, is trading at 0.34 times its members’ book value, down from about 0.5 times at the end of 2019, according to Bloomberg-compiled data. It shows investors are pricing banks’ assets at a third of their stated worth, the lowest among Asian financials and cheaper than even Japanese banks that have been struggling with rock-bottom interest rates after decades of deflation.Investors are concerned that Korean banks are ill-prepared for a potential bursting of a housing bubble and collapse of companies that are being propped up by lending. Seo Young-soo, a Seoul-based analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co. who correctly predicted the nation’s 2003 credit card crisis when 4 million cardholders defaulted, says the coronavirus crisis is hurting the export-driven economy and may lead to a downturn in the housing market.“Korea is one of the countries with fast-growing household debts, and the bubble in properties is more serious than in other countries,” Seo said. Meanwhile, “there are so many zombie companies in the country. If exports are getting worse in May, those firms may not be able to survive.”Risks are rising in Korea’s household and corporate debt because both are heavily linked to the property market. Corporate loans made since the Asian financial crisis have centered on small and medium-sized firms, and banks took their properties as collateral, according to Lee Soonho, research fellow at Korea Institute of Finance.“Korean banks haven’t accumulated enough loan-loss reserve while the risk of defaults at companies is rising because of Covid-19,” said Choi Kwangwook, chief investment officer at J&J Investments.Provisions set aside by Korean banks to cover potential loan losses make up 0.47% of their total loan book, compared with 1.39% for U.S. lenders, according to Kiwoom Securities. The Korean government has unveiled a 58.3 trillion won ($47 billion) rescue package to virus-hit companies while also asking state-run and private banks to support them, Kiwoom Securities’ Seo said.Korea’s exports fell in April by the most since the global financial crisis and job losses surged to the highest since 1999. The Bank of Korea lowered interest rates by 50 basis points in March and cut by 25 basis points on Thursday to a record low of 0.5%. As a result, banks may face a further decline in net interest margins.Read more: Virus Batters Mom & Pop Shops in Entrepreneur-Heavy KoreaSouth Korea’s $1.3 billion household debt accounts for 95.5% of its gross domestic product, one of the highest in the world, according to data from Bank for International Settlements.Household debt in Korea is particularly risky because about half is in so-called bullet loans, with the bulk of the payment due at maturity, according to an April report from the International Monetary Fund. Household balance sheets are vulnerable to real estate price fluctuations, the IMF said.Residential property prices in Korea gained just 0.1% in May from April, the least since September 2019.“Honestly, there’s a bubble in Korea’s property market,” J&J Investments’ Choi said. “The Asian financial crisis and the 2008 global financial crisis were caused by problems at corporations. But the next crisis may come from household debts linked to the housing market.”(Updates with details on BOK’s rate cut in eighth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Biotech firm Novavax has entered its coronavirus vaccine in a Phase 1 clinical trial in Australia — the first in the Southern Hemisphere.
Dividend stocks are a great option for a retirement account since you're earning income simply for holding shares. The coronavirus pandemic caused many companies to cut or cancel dividends. While other businesses saw substantial revenue declines from the current economic slowdown, there were at least three that delivered revenue and dividend increases in these tough economic times.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The way the Covid-19 crisis ends is with vaccines — not a vaccine. More than one horse can win this race. Some of us might end up getting a shot of a more traditional vaccine, which uses parts of an inactivated virus to stimulate immunity. Others might get vaccines based on emerging technologies that use synthetic versions of the virus’s genetic code.One such novel candidate, based on RNA and made by Moderna, showed promising results in early human trials, though critics warned the evidence is preliminary. Meanwhile, a different prototype based on DNA made headlines for an experiment that showed it worked in monkeys.In the end, some vaccines might be extremely effective but harder to scale; others the opposite. Even a less-effective vaccine might work well enough to provide herd immunity in a wider population. Other vaccines might be more appropriate for health care workers, who have to risk exposure on the job, and need protection as soon as possible.Scientists have created more than 70 vaccine candidates so far. “If we end up with two, three, or four vaccines, that’s good, since we have seven billion people,” says Harvard vaccine researcher Dan Barouch, who led the development of one of the vaccines featured in recent news. His group began working on a vaccine in January, after the virus started spreading in China. There are good reasons for him and other scientists to be optimistic. “For Covid-19, it’s clear most humans who get infected recover … that alone shows the human immune system can eliminate the virus,” he says. That makes it a much easier target than HIV, which he calls unprecedented in the history of vaccinology for its ability to evade the immune system. And the SARS-Cov2 virus doesn’t have the fast mutation rate that makes flu viruses a moving target.Art Krieg, a physician and founder of Checkmate Pharmaceuticals, says he’s very optimistic that because the human immune system can successfully battle the virus, so will one or more of the many experimental vaccines. All vaccines have to provide a danger signal to “prime” the immune system into acting against an invader. In 1995, Krieg reported the discovery one of these danger signals — called CpG DNA — which has been used in several vaccines, including one for hepatitis B, and is in some of the experimental candidates against the virus that causes Covid-19.Next, the vaccine has to mimic the invader in order to get the immune system to create specific antibodies that target the intended enemy. Vaccine designers using genetic material (DNA or RNA) have to stimulate the immune system enough to generate those antibodies, but not so much that the immune system destroys the vaccine before it can complete its mission.The biggest driver of recent headlines (and stock market drama) was a vaccine produced by the Massachusetts-based company Moderna, which is based on synthetic genetic material identical to parts of the code carried by the coronavirus. The genetic material is RNA — the single-stranded cousin of DNA. (Other RNA vaccines are being studied by BionTech, Translate Bio, and Curevac.) The RNA tricks human cells into making proteins identical to the “spike” proteins the virus uses to penetrate human cells. And that, in turn, stimulates the immune system to make antibodies that will be ready to block that protein if the real coronavirus invades.The excitement about Moderna’s vaccine followed the release of data from a trial that involved 45 volunteers, though the company only described results for eight of them. Of the eight, all produced antibodies with the desired “neutralizing” property needed to attack the virus in the future. What happened to the other 37 people? Since this vaccine requires two doses, they probably just didn’t have that data yet, says Krieg.A similar concept is behind DNA vaccines. The one developed by Harvard’s Barouch made the news for a successful experiment in monkeys. Other DNA vaccines are already in early human trials, including candidates developed by Oxford University, Johnson & Johnson and the Chinese company CanSino Biologics.These DNA vaccines use synthetic strings of code for making the spike protein carried by the virus. In some of these, the synthetic DNA is injected alone, while in others, it rides into human cells inside a deactivated cold virus (called an adenovirus). The human cells transcribe the DNA to RNA, and then into the decoy spike protein used to create immunity to the real thing. While the prototype developed by Barouch’s group at Harvard can be given in two shots, the Oxford DNA vaccine and several others that use cold viruses confer immunity with just one shot, says Krieg. DNA and RNA aren’t our only options. Yet another vaccine concept, made by Dynavax, uses the spike protein itself and stimulates the immune system using a synthetic DNA danger signal — the CpG DNA. These protein-based vaccines would have to be produced in bulk in fermentation vats, which Krieg says is something the biotech industry is equipped to do.Krieg says all the novel vaccines work through the same well-established scientific principles, and are very likely to be safe. Still, he says, it’s well known that vaccines don’t work as well in the elderly and immunocompromised. Imperfect vaccines could still eradicate the virus through herd immunity but only if the bulk of the population gets vaccinated. Once the technical hurdles are overcome, there will be social hurdles — already, there are movements among anti-vaxxers to resist — but it’s not too soon to plan to surmount them.Barouch says the ordinarily competitive nature of science has changed, as everyone understands how much is at stake in terms of lives and economic damage. In retrospect, critics might be able to criticize approaches that didn’t work, but right now, we need all the ideas we can get.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Faye Flam is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. She has written for the Economist, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Psychology Today, Science and other publications. She has a degree in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Vaccines are perceived as key to ending the restraints on work and life that have decimated the global economy, and returning to some sense of normalcy.
The coronavirus pandemic accelerated a wellness renaissance among consumers as shelter in place orders took effect, based on some of the sales trends seen by companies including Ro.
Telehealth companies enabling individuals to see physicians without stepping foot into a physical doctor’s office are having their moment, as the coronavirus pandemic confines individuals and would-be patients across the country largely to their homes.
Geopolitical rivalries, as well as practical considerations, are emerging as real hurdles in the race for a COVID treatment.
FDA approves line extensions for Bristol-Myers (BMY), Roche (RHHBY) and AstraZeneca (AZN)/Merck's (MRK) drugs. J&J stops sales of talc-based baby powders in the United States and Canada.
Members of a large subset of prostate cancer patients with tumors that have already spread have a new chemotherapy-free treatment option. The FDA on Wednesday approved Lynparza, a PARP inhibitor from AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) and Merck (NYSE: MRK) that previously had been approved to treat people with ovarian and breast cancers. The FDA completed its review of Lynparza for prostate cancer patients with tumors that test positive for homologous recombination repair (HRR) mutations a couple of months ahead of schedule.
On Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) announced plans to discontinue sales of talc-based Johnson's Baby Powder as part of a larger reorganization of products sold by the healthcare conglomerate. The discontinuation of talc-based Johnson's Baby Powder in North America was due to declining sales of the talc-based products as customers worried about the potential to get cancer from the products. Johnson & Johnson is facing multiple lawsuits over the potential for talcum powder to cause cancer, potentially due to contamination with asbestos.
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Facebook, Johnson & Johnson, Fidelity National Information Services, Alibaba and Bristol-Myers Squibb
J&J faces more than 19,000 lawsuits from consumers and their survivors claiming its talc products caused cancer due to contamination with asbestos, a known carcinogen. "I wish my mother could be here to see this day," said Crystal Deckard, whose mother Darlene Coker alleged Baby Powder caused her mesothelioma. In its statement, J&J said it "remains steadfastly confident in the safety of talc-based Johnson's Baby Powder," citing "decades of scientific studies."