Business

Friday's export numbers give stocks zing

But losers still outnumber gainers, Oxley Holdings dips despite news of Mayfair Gardens buy

Local equities were once more up yesterday, with the boost coming courtesy of export figures last Friday.

Good news also came over the weekend, as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told the annual People's Action Party convention on Sunday that Singapore's economy could grow by more than 3 per cent this year.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) ticked up by 4.21 points, or 0.12 per cent, to 3,386.59. But the relief was uneven, as losers still outnumbered gainers on the bourse, 279 to 150.

Singapore Airlines, which last week turned in its operating results for October, added $0.14, or 1.33 per cent, to $10.68.

OCBC Investment Research noted that the carrier has seen "solid" improvement in its passenger load factor - but cautioned that yields remain under pressure, with competition from Gulf and Chinese airlines set to heat up.

Meanwhile, airport ground handling service provider Sats put on $0.03, or 0.59 per cent, to $5.14.

Other gainers included Jardine Cycle & Carriage - up by $0.17, or 0.43 per cent, to $39.42 after upping its stake in Vietnam's Vinamilk. CapitaLand Commercial Trust finished up by $0.06, or 3.24 per cent, to $1.91.

"The new project might attract a high level of interest if Oxley is able to launch the new project at a price that is relevant to market conditions at that time."DBS analysts on oxley holdings’ purchase of Mayfair Gardens

Still, a slew of recent deals elsewhere have failed to land with a sizzle.

Developer Oxley Holdings - fresh from picking up the Mayfair Gardens residential site at a 21 per cent premium over the asking price - shed $0.01, or 1.49 per cent, to $0.66.

DBS analysts wrote in a report out yesterday: "We are already numb on news flow about developers' continued hunger for land, which does not seem to abate even with the government's recent effort to manage the enthusiasm seen in recent collective sale tenders."

But they added: "The new project might attract a high level of interest if Oxley is able to launch the new project at a price that is relevant to market conditions at that time."

Fellow real estate firm Roxy-Pacific Holdings, which has taken a stake in a joint venture to buy a Melbourne office building, lost $0.01, or 1.85 per cent, to $0.53.

Spackman Entertainment Group, which has been churning out updates on its investments in the South Korean film industry, closed lower by 0.3 Singapore cent, or 2.66 per cent, at $0.11.

Electronic waste management company Enviro-Hub Holdings ended lower by 0.1 Singapore cent at 4.8 Singapore cents. The company last week reached an agreement to sell office and retail building PoMo in Selegie Road for $342 million - with the proceeds going mainly towards settling bank borrowings and general working capital.

Private education provider Raffles Education Corporation - caught in a tussle between long-time shareholder Oei Hong Leong and founding chief executive Chew Hua Seng - fell $0.01, or 3.45 per cent, to $0.28.

Besides stocks' mixed performance on the Singapore market, there was uncertainty around the globe too.

In Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel failed to form a three-way coalition government after the Free Democratic Party pulled out of talks, sending the euro sliding.

Traders' flocking to the safe-haven yen has put a crimp on Japanese exporters' prospects, with the Nikkei dipping by 0.6 per cent.

For full listings of SGX prices, go to http://btd.sg/BTmkts

BUSINESS & FINANCE