SE Asia Stocks-Singapore falls to near 6-wk low, Keppel biggest drag

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 26, 2017 10:20 hrs

By Chandini Monnappa Dec 26 (Reuters) - Singapore shares hit their lowest in nearly six weeks on Tuesday, dragged down mainly by oil equipment and services providers after a unit of Keppel Corp Ltd agreed to pay a $422 million fine to resolve charges that it bribed Brazilian officials. Keppel shares tumbled as much as 5.1 percent to their lowest since Oct. 19, and also marked their biggest intraday percentage drop since late April 2016. Keppel Corp's offshore rig building business, Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd, agreed to pay the combined penalty to resolve investigations by authorities in the United States, Brazil and its home country of Singapore, the U.S. Justice Department said. "The imposition of the financial penalties is undoubtedly a negative," Nomura said in a note. "The stock could be under pressure in the near term, we see this resolution as removing a key overhang on the stock." Shares of Sembcorp Marine Ltd fell as much as 4.6 percent to their lowest since Nov. 15, after the company said its Jurong Shipyard unit had agreed to sell semi-submersible rig West Rigel for $500 million and that the sale would result in a loss of about S$24 million ($17.86 million). Sembcorp Marine was also named among foreign companies that did business with people who are under investigation in Brazil as part of a massive corruption investigation involving the country's state-run oil company Petrobras. Sembcorp Marine had said earlier it did not make any illegal payment. Meanwhile, investors are waiting for the consumer price index data, due later in the day, for cues about the city-state's economy. Headline consumer price index is expected to have risen in November from a year earlier, a Reuters poll showed, with the pace seen edging up slightly, partly due to higher oil prices.nL4N1OK3DT] Malaysian shares slipped with losses seen across almost all sectors. Telekom Malaysia Bhd was the biggest drag, dropping nearly 6 percent, while Sime Darby gained nearly 3 percent. Thai shares were little changed with gains in consumer and real estate stocks offset by losses in financials. Thailand's tourism ministry said on Monday that the country saw a 23.2 percent rise in foreign tourists in November. The tourism industry is a major employer and accounts for 12 percent of the country's economy. The Philippine and Indonesian markets were closed for a local holiday. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS: CHANGE AT 0333 GMT Market Current previous close Pct Move Singapore 3375.46 3385.71 -0.30 Bangkok 1749.77 1750.22 -0.03 Kuala Lumpur 1754.58 1760.24 -0.32 Ho Chi Minh 958.86 958.31 0.06 Change so far this year Market Current End 2016 Pct Move Singapore 3375.46 2880.76 17.17 Bangkok 1749.77 1542.94 13.40 Kuala Lumpur 1754.58 1641.73 6.87 Ho Chi Minh 958.86 664.87 44.22 ($1 = 1.3435 Singapore dollars) (Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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