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STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Index lower, Genting Singapore falls

Source : REUTERS
Last Updated: Mon, Nov 05, 2012 06:40 hrs

Singapore shares slipped, with Genting Singapore Plc among the biggest decliners on concerns about the casino operator's upcoming results following weaker earnings posted by rival Las Vegas Sands Corp's Singapore casino.

The Straits Times Index was down 0.4 percent at 3,028.89, while MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed 0.2 percent.

Genting shares fell as much as 1.9 percent to S$1.29, the lowest since Aug. 15.

Las Vegas Sands said last week it had lower "hold", or money won from gamblers, at its Marina Bay Sands (MBS) casino in Singapore, where operating income fell to $166.5 million from $315.4 million in the quarter.

"The earnings miss at MBS could weigh down near-term sentiment for Genting Singapore," Credit Suisse said in a report. The bank expects Genting to report weaker second-half results partly due to cost build-up.

Genting is slated to report its third-quarter earnings on Nov. 12. More than 23 million shares changed hands, 1.5 times the average full-day volume over the past 30 days. The stock was the top traded by value in the Singapore market on Monday.

Shares of Keppel Corp Ltd, the world's largest rig builder, rose as much as 2.4 percent after it said its unit agreed with Golar LNG to work on the conversion of up to three liquefied natural gas vessels into floating LNG vessels.

1419 (0619 GMT)

(Reporting by Eveline Danubrata in Singapore; Editing by Jijo Jacob; eveline.danubrata@thomsonreuters.com)

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11:19 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-DBS cuts target price for COSCO Corp

DBS Vickers cut its target price for shipbuilder COSCO Corp (Singapore) Ltd to S$0.80 from S$0.88 and kept its 'fully valued' rating, citing sluggish shipbuilding orders until 2014 and growing competition in the offshore space.

COSCO shares were unchanged at S$0.88 by 0258 GMT. They have gained 0.6 percent since the start of the year, compared with a 23 percent rise in the FTSE ST Industrials Index.

COSCO posted on Friday a 17 percent fall in its third-quarter net profit at S$26.6 million, and said it expects difficult operating conditions for the rest of the year.

DBS trimmed its 2012 net profit estimates for COSCO by 8.7 percent to account for lower income from scrap materials and higher interest expenses. It also cut its 2013 net profit forecast by 24.3 percent to reflect lower order win assumption of $2.5 billion, compared with $3 billion previous.

COSCO faces pressure to replenish its shipbuilding order book as existing orders for 35 vessels will be delivered by the end of 2013, but new orders are few given a bleak outlook in the shipping sector.

1106 (0306 GMT) (Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier; charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com)

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10:51 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-StarHub up; Maybank upgrades stock after results

Maybank Kim Eng raised its rating on StarHub Ltd to 'buy' from 'sell,' impressed by the company's 27 percent rise in quarterly profit and said fourth-quarter results could also beat expectations as the negative impact of iPhones on margins could be fading.

The broker said that with third-quarter margins at 33.9 percent versus full-year outlook of 30 percent, Singapore's second-biggest telecom firm has "a good chance of doing better than expected." Maybank raised its target price to S$3.99 from S$3.06.

StarHub's shares were up 0.6 percent at S$3.67 in a weak market and have risen 26 percent so far this year, outpacing a 14 percent rise in the index. The stock has eased after hitting a record high of S$3.88 in early August.

HSBC also raised its rating on StarHub to 'neutral' from 'underweight,' partly helped by the company's better operating margins.

Maybank said StarHub's gearing fell to a record low of 0.46 times in the third quarter following its recent raising of S$220 million in medium-term notes, and this raises confidence in sustained dividend.

Ahead of the results, 13 brokers had a 'hold' rating on StarHub, with nine rating it a 'sell' or 'strong sell,' one had a 'buy' rating and one had a 'strong buy' recommendation.

StarHub earns all its revenue from Singapore. Quarterly net profit at smaller rival M1 Ltd fell 19.5 percent. Singapore Telecommunications Ltd reports results this month.



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