STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Index flat; Noble falls

Last Updated: Thu, May 16, 2013 04:40 hrs

Singapore stocks were steady on Thursday, while shares of Singapore-listed commodities firm Noble Group Ltd fell for the second consecutive session after posting weak first-quarter results.

The Straits Times Index was flat, while the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.2 percent.

Shares of Noble fell 2.3 percent for the second consecutive session to S$1.07.

Noble reported disappointing results on Tuesday, posting a 62 percent fall in first-quarter net profit, saying the challenging operating environment had hurt its margins.

Shares of offshore service provider Ezion Holdings Ltd rose 4.4 percent to a record high of S$2.39, after a trading halt was lifted.

Ezion received a letter of intent with a contract value of about $80.3 million over a four-year period to provide a service rig to an Asian-based national oil company.

DBS Vickers kept its "buy" rating on the stock and upgraded its target price to S$2.52 from S$2.47.

Shares of Yongnam Holdings Ltd rose 6.1 percent to S$0.35, the highest since November 2007, after the company posted a marginal rise in first-quarter net profit.

"Margins should pick up slightly for the rest of the year on execution of strutting order-book and the commencement of new contract wins," said Maybank Kim Eng, which maintained its "buy" rating on the stock and lowered its target price to S$0.43 from S$0.45.

1215 (0415 GMT)

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