Jun 19, 2014

    STI ends flat ahead of Fed meeting

    SINGAPORE shares ended mostly flat yesterday as investors kept a wary eye on Iraq and held fire until the end of the United States Federal Reserve's policy meeting due late last night.

    While US policymakers are widely expected to continue winding down their stimulus, investors will be watching to see if Fed chief Janet Yellen gives any hints about policy plans, particularly relating to interest rates.

    The lack of direction left the benchmark Straits Times Index up just 2.36 points to 3,276.8 on turnover of $783.6 million.

    The top five volume shares included Blumont, which jumped 12 per cent, or 0.7 cent, to 6.5 cents on turnover of $8.24 million.

    Shares of struggling biotech firm Transcu Group, which is on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) watch list, rocketed 100 per cent, or 0.1 cent, to 0.2 cent, with 49 million shares worth $65,329 changing hands.

    The company said in April that it was planning a reverse takeover of contractor Straits Construction, in order to give Transcu a new lease of life.

    Earlier this month, the company also proposed a scheme of arrangement with its creditors to restructure debt so that the reverse takeover can proceed.

    Meanwhile, Hong Fok Corp received a Trade with Caution notice yesterday after it told SGX that it was "not aware of any reasons that could possibly explain" why its shares surged 23.9 per cent between Monday and yesterday.

    It is the firm's second SGX query in the past three months.

    Shares of the property developer jumped 8.7 per cent, or nine cents, to $1.12 yesterday on turnover of $10.4 million.

    S-chip play continued yesterday with Dapai International surging 63 per cent, or 1.2 cents, to 3.1 cents, with 30 million shares changing hands.

    Teledata was among the top losers, plummeting 50 per cent, or 0.1 cent, to 0.1 cent after investors bailed out on news of its pending delisting. About 30.2 million shares changed hands.

    "Everyone's rushing for the exit before it gets delisted on June 30, because there's no certainty that the exit offer, if there is one, will be higher than the market price," remisier Alvin Yong said.

    The exit offer is an offer made by the company, or controlling shareholder, to buy out other shareholders after its shares are delisted.

    The company had announced last week that it was being delisted because SGX is uncertain if Teledata would be able to meet the requirements to get itself removed from its watchlist of loss-making companies.