Jul 27, 2016

    No luck for Genting after MBS fails to impress

    A HONG Kong rally helped Singapore shares close a smidgeon higher, after retracing losses from earlier in the day sparked by a weak Wall Street lead.

    The benchmark Straits Times Index closed 0.12 per cent or 3.59 points higher at 2,933.44.

    While good earnings from the gambling sector helped Hong Kong gain 0.8 per cent, casino operator Genting Singapore weighed on the STI.

    Shares of Genting fell 3.1 per cent or 2.5 cents to 77.5 cents, with 19.6 million shares traded after rival Marina Bay Sands' second-quarter earnings came in below expectations.

    MBS' mass table revenues, which account for 38 per cent of its total gaming revenue, fell for the first time in four years.

    That led some investors to expect weak mass market revenues when Genting Singapore reports its second-quarter earnings on Aug 4.

    Traders are also awaiting the second-quarter results of United Overseas Bank tomorrow. "They are watching for any further worsening in its non-performing loans because oil prices haven't recovered.

    "Brexit's impact on its foreign-dollar loans, especially those denominated in pounds, will also be closely watched," remisier Alvin Yong said.

    Oil prices also weighed on sentiment, falling to a three-month low on renewed concerns over a supply glut.

    Keppel Corp fell 0.5 per cent or three cents to $5.44, with Maybank Kim Eng maintaining a sell call after the group's first-half earnings missed forecasts, with low work volume and project deferments in the offshore marine segment hurting revenue.

    "Performances from other divisions were insufficient to make up for the offshore marine segment's weakness," the brokerage said.

    Ezra Holdings shed 1.7 per cent or 0.1 cent to 5.7 cents, with 45.2 million shares traded.

    New listing food and beverage firm Katrina Group made a strong debut at 34 cents, well above its 21 cents offering. The Catalist-listed group placed out 35.8 million new shares.

    Other penny plays included CNMC Goldmine, which surged 12.5 per cent or 5.5 cents to 49.5 cents, with 41.7 million shares traded.