May 15, 2015

    S'pore sees muted blue-chip activity

    SINGAPORE shares ended mostly flat after a range-bound trading session, thanks to a lacklustre showing by blue-chip heavyweights.

    The benchmark Straits Times Index closed at 3,455.78, up 2.61 points, with 1.47 billion shares worth $917.1 million changing hands.

    Singtel closed flat at $4.36, with 13.4 million shares traded. The telco posted a 4.5 per cent rise in fourth-quarter net profit to $939 million from a year earlier and a 5 per cent jump in revenues to $4.34 billion.

    Singapore Airlines sagged 0.3 per cent to $11.64 ahead of full-year earnings released after the market close, while Genting Singapore dipped nearly 1 per cent or one cent to $1.015 ahead of its release of first-quarter earnings.

    Among the most actively traded was SIIC Environment Holdings, which closed flat at 21 cents, with 50.4 million shares traded. The water-treatment company posted a 7.5 per cent rise in earnings to 68.4 million yuan (S$14.5 million) for the first quarter.

    SIIC is among stocks that will be included in the MSCI Singapore Small Cap Index after May 29, while six others will be dropped following a semi-annual review by MSCI. The other three to be included are China Merchant Holdings (Pacific), SPH Reit and Keppel DC Reit.

    The six to be dropped are Charisma Energy Services, Civmec, Dyna-Mac Holdings, GMG Global, Raffles Education Corp and Rotary Engineering.

    MSCI also unveiled changes to the MSCI Singapore Micro Cap Index. Twenty stocks will be included in this index while 11 will be removed. The changes also take effect after the close of trading on May 29.

    Yangzijiang Shipbuilding gained 1 per cent or 1.5 cents to $1.49, with 22.2 million shares traded. In filings to the Singapore Exchange, the Chinese shipbuilder disclosed that New York-based BlackRock, the world's biggest asset manager, became a substantial shareholder on May 4. BlackRock's shareholding rose to 5 per cent from 4.99 per cent, which traders said lent support to its share price.

    CapitaLand requested a trading halt yesterday and later announced it was proposing to issue $650 million bonds that can be converted into new shares, to be placed with institutional and accredited investors.

    It may increase the size of the issue by up to $150 million should an upsize option be exercised on or before June 30. The terms of the convertible bonds will be confirmed upon pricing of the issue.

    CapitaLand expects to use the proceeds of the issue mostly to refinance its existing indebtedness, including the repurchase of its outstanding convertible bonds, and any balance for working capital. The closing date for the issue is expected to be about June 8.