Jul 29, 2016

    Weak OCBC results, Swiber link hit stocks

    LOCAL shares tumbled on surprisingly weak results from OCBC Bank and fears that the much-anticipated stimulus package from the Bank of Japan may disappoint.

    The Straits Times Index closed 0.78 per cent

    or 22.87 points down at 2,918.62, hit by DBS Group, which slipped 2.3 per cent or 38 cents

    to $15.88.

    The bank was sold on concerns over its exposure to offshore marine group Swiber Holdings,

    which shocked the market when it announced

    it will make an application to wind up the company and place it into provisional liquidation.

    This came after it received several letters of demand totalling US$25.9 million, including a statutory demand of US$248,500.

    The bourse was also weighed down by UOB, which dipped 1.3 per cent or 24 cents to $18.70,

    and OCBC, down 0.6 per cent or five cents to $8.80.

    Dealers said investors may be disappointed

    that both banks have recorded an increase in non-performing loans in Singapore and Malaysia and declines in net interest margins.

    "There's selling across the board because of OCBC's surprising 15 per cent drop in net profit.

    "There are also fears that the BOJ stimulus

    may not be large enough to appease the market," remisier Alvin Yong said.

    Singtel fell 0.5 per cent or two cents to $4.29 while Keppel Corp shed 1.7 per cent or nine cents to $5.32.

    OCBC Investment Research, which had a

    hold call on UOB prior to the release of its second-quarter results, said it is reviewing

    its fair value rating.

    Vallianz Holdings tanked nearly 42 per cent

    or 1.5 cents to 2.1 cents, following the winding-up move by its controlling shareholder Swiber.

    About 307.6 million shares changed hands, making it the most hotly traded stock and prompting a query about its unusual price and volume movements from the Singapore Exchange.

    Oil and gas counters were among the most actively traded, with Ezra Holdings down

    7.1 per cent or 0.4 cent to 5.2 cents, with

    72.3 million shares traded.

    Rex International slipped 7.9 per cent

    or 0.5 cent to 5.8 cents on trade of 44.2 million.

    New listing Wong Fong Industries made a

    strong debut at 31 cents, above its 23 cents offering with about 18.7 million shares changing hands.

    The company had placed out 43 million shares

    in a public offering.

    SGX dipped 1.03 per cent or eight cents

    to $7.66 after fourth-quarter earnings

    came in below forecasts.

    This was due largely to an impairment charge

    of $6 million for its investment in the

    Bombay Stock Exchange,

    OCBC Investment Research said.

    "Excluding this, net earnings would have been

    in line with expectations," it added.