STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Index slightly up; Wilmar, Q&M jump

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 27, 2012 05:10 hrs

Singapore shares were slightly higher on Thursday, with palm oil firm Wilmar International Ltd and dental chain operator Q & M Dental Group Singapore Ltd among the biggest gainers.

The Straits Times Index was up 0.2 percent at 3,186.33 points, in line with the rise in MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan.

Wilmar shares rose as much as 3.1 percent to S$3.37, the highest since Aug. 14, making it the top traded stock by value in Singapore on Thursday.

Malaysian crude palm oil futures were up 1.6 percent on expectation of higher prices partly due to weather conditions. Indonesia's move to cut export tax to 7.5 percent for January from 9 percent for December may also benefit Wilmar.

Q & M shares jumped as much as 15 percent to S$0.35, the highest in around two months. More than 5 million shares were traded, 36 times the average full-day volume over the past 30 days.

Q & M launched a S$22.65 million ($18.5 million) takeover bid for Singapore Medical Group Ltd to expand into specialist medical practice. Q & M is offering S$0.1323 for each share of SMG, which operates 15 medical clinics in Singapore.

Shares of Rowsley Ltd and Informatics Education Ltd fell after a run-up in the stock prices in previous trading sessions. Both stocks are linked to Singapore billionaire Peter Lim.

1253 (0453 GMT)

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