May 22, 2014

    Shares end flat on Wall Street tumble

    SINGAPORE shares, like those across the region, ended virtually unchanged yesterday after Wall Street took a tumble overnight and the Bank of Japan decided to hold off on expanding its stimulus programme.

    The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) slipped just 3.69 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 3,261.78.

    Other Asian bourses were much the same: Tokyo dipped 0.24 per cent, Seoul lost 0.15 per cent and Sydney and Hong Kong ended flat although Shanghai gained 0.84 per cent.

    A Singapore Exchange (SGX) report yesterday noted that in Singapore-dollar terms, local shares have outperformed those of many developed markets.

    The STI had gained 3.1 per cent this year as at Monday's close, which was relatively resilient when compared with other major benchmarks of the United States, Europe, Japan and Hong Kong, the SGX said.

    "Over the same time, on a Singapore-dollar basis, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, despite recent record highs, actually declined 0.4 per cent, the Nikkei 225 Index declined 13.6 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index and Hang Seng China Enterprises Index declined 2 per cent and 8.6 per cent, respectively, while the Euro Stoxx 50 Index increased 1.7 per cent."

    Ezra Holdings added 2.5 cents to $1.055.

    It announced after the market closed yesterday that it had won new contracts worth over US$95 million (S$119 million) across its subsea and offshore support services segments.

    Its order book now stands at more than US$2 billion, which will gradually contribute to revenue over the next 12 to 18 months.

    RH Petrogas dropped six cents to 79.5 cents.

    It said on Tuesday that its controlling shareholder had been approached by an investor and that both parties are in talks about a potential takeover of RH Petrogas.

    DMG & Partners Research said yesterday that if an offer did materialise, it could be over $1 a share.

    "While the discount on RH Petrogas has narrowed significantly since our last update, we believe that there is significant upside from here should an offer come through," wrote analyst Lee Yue Jer.

    Ascott Residence Trust was unchanged at $1.20.

    OCBC Investment Research analyst Kevin Tan has reiterated his "buy" call, saying the trust's first-quarter results were within expectations.

    "Coupled with the revenue from its Dalian property acquired in March, the Fukuoka property (to be completed by July) and possible new acquisitions in key gateway cities, we believe the second half of the year is likely to be stronger," he wrote in a note yesterday.