Sep 07, 2016

    Punters chase banks, property and Singtel

    BANKS, big property players and Singtel continued to feel the love for a second straight session yesterday.

    The optimistic mood drove the Straits Times Index up 44.81 points or 1.57 per cent to 2,896.55.

    Telco Singtel was a key factor in the surge, rising 2 per cent or eight cents to $4.03.

    The banks chipped in as well. United Overseas Bank gained 2.1 per cent, or 39 cents to $18.65. DBS Bank jumped 1.2 per cent or 18 cents to $15.43.

    OCBC Bank rose 1.3 per cent or 11 cents to $8.82.

    Banks are back in favour after the Monetary Authority of Singapore said last Friday that it was fine-tuning the Total Debt Servicing Ratio rules to make it easier for borrowers with existing home loans to refinance mortgages and pay off debts at lower interest rates.

    "This means more mortgage refinancing can be concluded now, which is good for banks and property stocks," remisier Alvin Yong said.

    CapitaLand rose 2.2 per cent or seven cents to $3.23, HongKong Land gained 1.8 per cent or 12 US cents to US$6.80, and City Developments jumped 3 per cent or 27 cents to $9.23.

    Singtel extended gains after UOB KayHian joined several brokerages in recommending buying the telco "on weakness and its improved dividend yield as it is least affected by increased competition " from a possible fourth provider.

    Whether the feel-good effect on the STI can continue will depend on whether there are production caps achieved during the Opec meeting of oil producers later this month.

    Local energy counters rallied as Brent crude prices rose after Russia and Saudi Arabia pledged to cooperate to stabilise global markets.

    Rex International surged nearly 15 per cent or 0.7 cent to 5.4 cents, with 38.7 million shares traded.

    Noble Group was again the most actively traded, as short-covering drove the counter up 12 per cent or 1.5 cents to 14 cents, with nearly 434 million shares traded.

    Other actively traded counters include Thai Beverages, which fell 1.5 per cent or 1.5 cents to 97.5 cents, with 36.7 million shares traded.

    Jasper Investments was flat at 0.4 cent with 36.2 million shares traded after it said it has begun talks with third parties to undertake the infrastructure projects for the construction of a new Hainan International Airport.