STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Index flat, SPH jumps to 4-3/4 year high

Last Updated: Mon, Mar 11, 2013 04:11 hrs

Singapore shares were steady at midday, but stocks of Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) rose to their highest since June 2008 after the media and property company said it plans to list a real estate investment trust.

The Straits Times Index and the MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan were flat.

SPH shares jumped as much as 3.8 percent to a 4-3/4 year high of S$4.33 on Monday. About 6.6 million shares were traded, twice the average full-day volume over the past 30 days.

The planned listing will take the form of a real estate investment trust (REIT). The properties forming the REIT and the terms at which they would be injected are under review, SPH said in a statement.

OCBC Investment Research noted that SPH holds three retail mall assets and estimated a total valuation of S$3.53 billion ($2.83 billion).

"If this transaction does occur, we see it to be a favourable move which would unlock additional value from its mall assets, by housing them in a more tax-effective REIT structure, and recycle capital back into the group's growing retail mall business," OCBC said.

To read SPH's statement, click 1145 (0345 GMT)

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