singapores sti limps back with a gain as investors hunt for bargains 1027362015

The Chinese central bank steps in to assuage concerns in the global financial markets

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By :  ,  Financial Analyst

Singapore stocks on Thursday recouped some of the losses from the battering after the shock Chinese devaluations. Investors moved in and scooped up some bargains, even as the People’s Bank of China held a rare press conference to soothe international concern over its devaluation strategy.

However, analysts expect the currency markets to continue to remain volatile given the possibility that other central banks may choose to nullify China’s export advantage by weakening their own currencies, with a corresponding impact on stocks, particularly those which have foreign exchange exposure.

Indices and sectors

The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 30.29 points or 0.99 per cent higher at 3,091.78, taking the year-to-date performance to -8.12 per cent.

The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index gained 0.29 per cent, while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index rose 0.03 per cent.

The Singapore Exchange traded a volume of 1,435.2 million shares valued at SG$1,387.2 million. Gainers outnumbered losers by 256/190.

Amongst the FTSE ST sectors, the top gainers included telecommunications (+2.18 per cent), financials (+1.24 per cent), oil and gas (+1.14 per cent), real estate holding and development (+1.08 per cent) and healthcare (+0.98 per cent). Amongst the big losers were maritime (-0.78 per cent), industrials (-0.48 per cent), China (-0.44 per cent) and consumer services (-0.24 per cent).


Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SGX:Z74) said net profit during its fiscal first quarter rose 12.8 per cent year-on-year to SG$942 million, while operating revenue increased 1.5 per cent to SG$4.21 billion. The strong results were attributed to an exceptional gain and better contributions from associate companies, according to the Business Times.

Wing Tai Holdings Limited (SGX:W05) gained 1.62 per cent to SG$1.88. The developer reported a 19 per cent fall in fourth-quarter net profit to SG$115.9 million, while revenue increased 20 per cent to SG$215.9 million, according to the Straits Times.

City Developments Limited (SGX:C09) closed higher by 3.18 per cent at SG$9.08. The company said net profit during the second quarter fell 3.2 per cent to SG$133.5 million, while revenue declined 4.2 per cent to SG$824.9 million. The company declared an interim dividend of four cents per share, the same as in the prior year period.

Offshore services provider Nam Cheong Ltd (SGX:N4E) jumped 6.77 per cent to SG$0.205. For the second quarter ended June, the company reported a profit of MYR10.5 million (SG$3.65 million) for the second quarter ended 30 June 2015, down from the profit of MYR63 million in 2Q14. Revenue slipped 49 per cent to MYR192.7 million in 2Q15 from MYR378.8 million in 2Q14, according to IHS Maritime 360.

Genting Singapore PLC (SGX:G13) slipped 2.48 per cent to SG$0.75. The casino operator swung to a loss in SG$16.9 million in the second quarter compared to a net profit of SG$102.3 million in the prior year period. The company said it suffered a net foreign exchange loss of SG$84 million and fair value loss on derivative financial instruments of SG$95 million. Other factors which affected its profitability were the gaming industry downturn in Asia and unfavourable global VIP premium business and rolling win percentage, according to the Straits Times.

Offshore marine services provider Pacific Radiance Ltd (SGX:T8V) said net profit during the second quarter ended June crashed 88 per cent to US$3.8 million (SG$5.31 million), while revenue fell 29 per cent to US$34.8 million due to soft market conditions, according to the Straits Times. Executive Chairman Pang Yoke Min said: "Moving forward, we expect to intensify our ongoing efforts to manage our revenue and costs in a lower oil price environment".

OUE Hospitality Trust (SGX:SK7) said net property income during the second quarter ended June rose 2.2 per cent SG$25.8 million, while gross revenue jumped 4.6 per cent to SG$29.6 million, the latter mainly due to the contributions from Crowne Plaza Changi airport, which was acquired on January 30.

Transport giant Comfortdelgro Corporation Ltd (SGX:C52) net profit during the second quarter ended June rose 6.9 per cent to SG$80.9 million while revenue increased 2.1 per cent to SG$1.04 billion, as the company witnessed growth across most of its business segments. The company declared an interim dividend of four cents per share, up from 3.75 cents in the prior year period.

Credit rating agency Moody’s on Wednesday downgraded its outlook for commodity trader Noble Group Limited (SGX:N21) debt from stable to negative, raising concern over the company’s liquidity position and strategic options going forward, according to the Business Times.

Upstream oil and gas company KrisEnergy Ltd (SGX:SK3) announced that for the second quarter ended June 30 it swung to a net profit of US$9.6 million from a loss of US$5.8 million in the prior year period, on the back of higher other income, according to the Business Times. However, revenue fell nearly 48 per cent to US$11.65 million due to the slump in global oil prices.

Golden Agri-Resources Ltd (SGX:E5H) enjoyed a 42.2 per cent jump in net profit to US$38.75 million during the second quarter ended June 30 as operating expenses trended lower. However, revenue slipped 10.2 per cent to US$1.83 billion due to lower average crude palm oil prices and lower output, according to the Business Times.

Economic news

According to data from SRX Property, resale prices of private properties in July were “as flat as a board.” Resale prices of private condominiums and apartments rose a tiny 0.3 per cent in July compared to June, the Business Times said. The increase was attributed mostly due to somewhat higher prices in the city and suburban areas, which were up 1.7 per cent and 1 per cent respectively. However, prices on the fringes of the city were down by 2.2 per cent.

The Business Times reported that lending rates in Singapore jumped higher on Wednesday on the back of a sharp depreciation in the Singapore dollar following the successive yuan devaluations. The three-month Sibor or Singapore interbank offered rate, which is used to price home loans, jumped to 0.93450 on Wednesday, up 0.05542, or 6.3 per cent from Tuesday's 0.87908. The surge took the key interest rate within handshaking distance of the year’s high of 1.02705 touched on April 9.

On Wall Street Thursday, stocks had a mixed closing following the Chinese devaluations and investors’ renewed focus on US growth. At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 6 points, or less than 0.1 per cent, to 17,408. The S&P 500 lost 0.1 per cent to 2,083, and the Nasdaq Composite Index weakened 0.2 per cent to 5,034.

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