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STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Shares slightly down, caution on Q3 earnings

Source : REUTERS
Last Updated: Wed, Oct 24, 2012 06:30 hrs

Singapore's main index was slightly lower at midday despite encouraging Chinese manufacturing data, as investors remained risk averse ahead of more corporate earnings announcements.

By 0604 GMT, the benchmark Straits Times Index was down 0.07 percent at 3,048.80 points, while the MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.4 percent down.

The China HSBC Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) rose to a three-month high of 49.1 in October, also registering the most robust order books since April, signalling a strengthening recovery.

Thai Beverage PCL shares rose as much as 3.5 percent to S$0.445 on speculation that it could benefit from substantial gains if it decides to sell its stake in Fraser and Neave Ltd to other potential bidders such as property developer Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd.

ThaiBev, together with other companies linked to a Thai billionaire, is making a $7.2 billion bid for F&N. But OUE said last week it was seeking partners in a potential takeover bid for F&N that would rival ThaiBev's, without identifying the parties.

Singapore-listed real estate investment trusts have reported earnings mostly in line with estimates, DBS Vickers said, but noted that several STI component stocks have suffered earnings downgrades during analysts' third-quarter results previews.

Keppel Corp Ltd, the world's largest oil rig builder, has seen its 2013 earnings estimates cut by 3.5 percent, while Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp's earnings were lowered by 7 percent and Singapore Press Holdings Ltd revised down by 4.6 percent, DBS said.

If the trend of downward revision for 2013 earnings forecasts continues for the rest of the STI component stocks, the STI could be pulled lower, the brokerage said.

For a graphic on Asian markets performance, click: http://link.reuters.com/fyj53t

For a graphic on Asian markets valuations, click: http://link.reuters.com/zuj53t

1348 (0548 GMT)

(Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com); Editing by Jijo Jacob

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12:59 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Frasers Centrepoint at record high; Brokers up target price

Frasers Centrepoint Trust rose as much as 1.8 percent to a record high after brokerages raised t heir target prices for the shopping mall owner, citing better-than-expected fourth-quarter results.

By 0425 GMT, units of Frasers Centrepoint were at S$1.945, with a volume of 1.2 million, compared with its full day average trading volume of 1.4 million over the last five sessions.

Frasers Centrepoint said its fourth-quarter distribution per unit (DPU) was 2.71 Singapore cents, 15.3 percent higher than a year ago, helped by higher gross revenue and net property income.

Citigroup raised its target price for the trust to S$2.08 from S$2.00, to factor in stronger contribution from its shopping mall Causeway Point, where full occupancy is expected at the end of the year.

Citi increased its 2013 and 2014 DPU estimates by 2-3 percent, and noted that Frasers Centrepoint's gearing fell to 30.1 percent, giving it comfortable room to raise debt to support any potential acquisitions.

OCBC Investment Research also raised its target price on Frasers Centrepoint to S$2.13 from S$1.97 and maintained a 'buy' rating, on expectations of better operating performance.

The brokerage expects Frasers Centrepoint to acquire a property, Changi City Point, in 2013, which it said should provide further growth.

1242 (0442 GMT)

(Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi; charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com)

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11:35 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Osim rises on earnings, OCBC ups target price

Shares of Osim International Ltd rose as much as 2.7 percent to a 15-month high after it posted strong quarterly earnings and OCBC Investment Research raised its target price for the massage chair maker.

By 0325 GMT, Osim shares were up 1.7 percent at S$1.51. The shares have jumped 30.7 percent since the start of the year, compared with an 18 percent decline in the FTSE ST Consumer Goods Index. Nearly 3 million Osim shares were traded, 4.3 times their average daily volume over the last 5 sessions.

Osim said its third-quarter net profit surged 49 percent to S$20 million, making it the 15th straight quarter of growth in profitability.

OCBC raised its target price for Osim to S$1.87 from S$1.79 and kept its 'buy' rating, citing higher expected dividend payouts, supported by strong cashflow generation. The brokerage expects Osim's 2012 dividend per share to be 4.5 Singapore cents to 5 Singapore cents.

"Osim's growth would be underpinned by its strong product innovation, a focus on middle-to-high income consumers and continued efforts to improve its productivity per man and per store," said OCBC.

1127 (0327 GMT)

(Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com); Editing by Jijo Jacob

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11:09 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-CIMB raises Mapletree Industrial target price

CIMB Research raised its target price for Mapletree Industrial Trust, which owns factories and other industrial assets, to S$1.51 from S$1.31 and kept its 'neutral' rating, citing higher margins.

By 0253 GMT, units of Mapletree Industrial were flat at S$1.395, and have surged 30 percent since the start of the year, compared with the FTSE ST Real Estate Investment Trust's 34 percent rise.

Mapletree Industrial said its distribution per unit for the second quarter was 2.29 Singapore cents, 11.7 percent higher than the year-ago period, due to contributions from acquisitions, higher rents and improving margins.

CIMB said the trust has stronger capital management, as it issued a S$45 million 10-year fixed rate note that lengthened average debt tenure to 3.2 years from 2.7 years, yet borrowing cost fell to 2.3 percent from 2.5 percent.

However, CIMB noted that its current price to book value of 1.4 times is among the highest in the sector, and has likely priced in growth potential.

1102 (0302 GMT)

(Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com); Editing by Jijo Jacob




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