Bizview: Today's top business stories

STI rises for second day as local stocks rally despite global uncertainties

Local stocks continued to rally in the face of uncertainties on Wednesday, after Greece officially defaulted on its debt while waiting its referendum this weekend that may decide whether the country will stay in the Eurozone.

Taking cue from overseas gains, the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) rose for the second day, closing 13.81 points or 0.42 per cent up to 3,331.14. It rose as much as 0.7 per cent in the early trading hours to 3,340 before the momentum slowed down, but the index still held firm above 3,320.

Malaysia escapes Fitch downgrade on improvement in finances

Fitch Ratings maintained Malaysia's credit ranking at the fourth-lowest investment grade after signaling a downgrade earlier this year, saying the country's finances are improving and growth remains steady.

The outlook on the nation's A- grade was revised to stable from negative, Fitch said in a statement Tuesday. A new consumption tax and fuel subsidy reforms are supportive of Malaysia's finances even as federal government debt and explicit guarantees continue to increase, it said.

China factory gauge stays sluggish in June as slowdown lingers

A Chinese factory gauge remained sluggish last month, suggesting a tepid response from manufacturers to loosened monetary policy settings and efforts to shore up local government finances.

The official Purchasing Managers' Index was 50.2 for June, missing the median estimate of 50.4 in a Bloomberg survey and unchanged from May. The non-manufacturing PMI, a measure of services and construction, fared better, climbing to 53.8 in June from 53.2. Numbers above 50 indicate expansion.

Singapore private homes prices fall for 7th straight quarter

The overall private residential property index fell by 0.9 per cent in the second quarter compared with the first quarter, according to flash estimates from the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Wednesday.

Private home prices have now fallen for seven continuous quarters, making it the longest losing streak in 13 years, as tighter mortgage curbs continue to cool demand,

Hyflux subsidiary to set up investment holding company with TUS-Holdings unit

Mainboard-listed water and environmental solutions company Hyflux said its wholly owned subsidiary, Hyflux Capital (Singapore), has entered into a shareholders' agreement with Tuspark Technology Services Investment to set up an investment holding company.

The investment holding company will hold strategic investments in water projects in China, Hyflux said in a filing with the Singapore Exchange on Wednesday.

Hyflux Capital will hold a 25 per cent stake in the investment holding company.