Business

Genting, Singtel and banks lift STI

Bourse finished 20.99 points higher than yesterday

After breaking an earlier rally streak on Thursday, Singapore equities rebounded yesterday, lifted by banking stocks, Genting Singapore and Singtel.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) climbed 20.99 points or 0.64 per cent to finish at 3,314.12 yesterday.

This is 26.69 points or 0.8 per cent higher than July 14's closing of 3,287.43.

Over the course of the week, Global Logistic Properties and the local lenders contributed most to helping lift the index above the 3,300-point threshold.

Some 3.7 billion units worth $1.4 billion were traded yesterday, working out to be about an average of $0.38 per unit.

Trading was firm with gainers outnumbering losers 253 to 188 or about 10 up for every seven down.

The gains from shares of UOB, Genting Singapore, Singtel and OCBC added a combined 11.8 points to the index.

Heavyweight Singtel's counter rose three Singapore cents to end at $3.91, on a volume of 29.9 million units.

This, after it said yesterday that it is launching, in phases, near-gigabit speeds of 800 Mbps on its LTE advanced network at selected high-traffic outdoor locations in Singapore.

Over the course of the week, Global Logistic Properties and the local lenders contributed most to helping lift the index above the 3,300-point threshold.

The telco added that customers with Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphones would be able to utilise the 800 Mbps peak speeds at Shaw Centre, Ion Orchard and Tang Plaza in Orchard Road.

Meanwhile, shares of Keppel Corporation gained five Singapore cents to finish at $6.58.

OCBC Investment Research maintained its "buy" call on the stock with a target price of $7.36.

The research house noted that Keppel Corporation registered a 4.4 per cent year-on-year drop in revenue to $1.6 billion and a 22.1 per cent fall in net profit to $160.3 million in Q2 2017, such that H1 net profit accounted for 50 per cent of its full year estimate.

Said OCBC: "Profit from the offshore and marine division was $1.4 million, compared to $61.4 million a year ago.

"Recall that this segment barely broke even in Q1 2017.

"As for property, infrastructure and investments, these divisions continued to turn in healthy profits.

"In Singapore, management sees the property market bottoming with better prospects ahead. As for its asset management business, Keppel has ambitious internal targets.

"Indeed, Keppel Capital aims to double its $25 billion assets under management over the next five years. Meanwhile, Keppel has maintained its interim dividend of $0.08 per share, same as H1 2016."

The most active counters were Sincap, Rowsley and Swee Hong. In particular, Swee Hong shares added $0.004 to close at $0.018, on a volume of more than 176 million units.

The civil engineering and construction firm on Thursday said that it has paid off debts under the 2015 scheme of arrangement between the company and its creditors.

On the global scale, Philippe Waechter, chief economist at Natixis Asset Management noted that the European Central Bank remains committed for an extended period to a very accommodative monetary policy stance.

He said that the asset purchases programme would be discussed next autumn (probably in September) as the current one is supposed to end next December if long-term inflation expectations converge to 2 per cent or if the inflation rate is close to the target.


This article appears in The Business Times today. For full listings of SGX prices, go to btd. sg/BTmkts

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