STI inches up as Asia drifts sideways

CATALYST: DMG is keeping its "buy" call on Keppel Corp, as Keppel Shipyard finalises vessel-conversion contracts possibly worth US$735 million.


    Sep 10, 2014

    STI inches up as Asia drifts sideways

    SINGAPORE shares made slight gains yesterday amid a quiet day for regional bourses, after a drop on Wall Street overnight.

    The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) rose just 7.77 points, or 0.23 per cent, to close at 3,342.96.

    With two markets, Hong Kong and Seoul, closed for public holidays, much of the rest of the Asia-Pacific region drifted sideways in listless trading.

    Tokyo gained 0.28 per cent, Shanghai added just 0.1 point, while Sydney rose 0.55 per cent.

    Daphne Roth, the head of Asian equity research at ABN Amro Private Banking, told Bloomberg: "The market is taking its lead from the United States. We're seeing a temporary consolidation after the recent rally. Global economic growth is still on track."

    In a report yesterday highlighting consumer-services stocks listed on the local bourse, the Singapore Exchange said the average return for these 79 stocks over the last three years was 67.7 per cent. Their median return over that period was 38.3 per cent.

    These are companies which provide retail, media, or travel and leisure services, and include players such as Dairy Farm International, Genting Singapore, Comfort DelGro, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and Guocoleisure.

    Dairy Farm yesterday dropped nine US cents to US$10.24 (S$12.86), Comfort DelGro slipped a cent to $2.53 and SPH slid a cent to $4.18.

    Meanwhile, Guocoleisure rose half a cent to $1.02 and Genting Singapore was flat at $1.205.

    Keppel Corp was also flat at $10.80. The company said on Friday that its unit, Keppel Shipyard, was in the process of finalising contracts with Golar Gimi to perform the conversion of a second Moss liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier into a floating liquefaction vessel.

    DMG & Partners Research analyst Lee Yue Jer maintained his "buy" call on the stock, saying that he expects the contracts to be worth about US$735 million.

    Keppel had been awarded a contract in July for a similar conversion of a Moss LNG carrier, the Hilli.

    OUE Hospitality Trust was flat at 90 cents.

    OCBC Investment Research analyst Kevin Tan said in a note yesterday that he expects the trust to benefit from seasonally higher hospitality demand in the second half of the year.

    However, he maintained his "hold" rating on the trust, saying it is fairly priced.