SINGAPORE, Jan 2 (Reuters) - Singapore stocks started the
new year on an optimistic note after a lacklustre performance in
the previous year when a weak real estate sector and a penny
stock scandal weighed on the market.
The Straits Times Index edged up 0.2 percent to
3,173.8 by 0517 GMT on Thursday, with 52.8 million shares
traded, only 27 percent of its average 30-day full-day volume.
The benchmark, which was little changed last year, traded at a
Bank DBS Group Holdings Ltd rose 0.3 percent.
Brokerage Maybank Kim Eng recommended it as its top sector pick.
"Of the three Singapore banks under our coverage, we believe
DBS is best positioned to take advantage of a rising interest
rate environment, given its liquid balance sheet and strong
deposit franchise with cheap funds accounting for 58.4 percent
of total deposits," Maybank said in a report.
Small and mid-cap stocks again dominated trading, with
HanKore Environment Tech Group Ltd topping the list of
most actively traded stocks after the company announced a
reverse takeover on Dec. 30. The shares were up 5.6 percent
after surging 35 percent on Tuesday.