Bulls And Bears

Bargain hunters put STI on healthier footing

Positive news from US provides a fillip, with tech counters also enjoying a new lease of life

Bargain hunters moved in after Wednesday's bloodletting, fired up by talk that President Donald Trump has secured more votes to push through a healthcare reform Bill in the US.

The buying spree nudged the Straits Times Index up 0.28 per cent, or 8.74 points, to 3,126.93.

The drivers were Genting Singapore, which rose 1.5 per cent or 1.5 cents to 99.5 cents, and Jardine Matheson Holdings, up 1.3 per cent or 87 US cents to US$66.32.

Other top gainers included Golden Agri-Resources, which rose 1.3 per cent or 0.5 cent to 39 cents, and Thai Beverage, 1.1 per cent or one cent ahead to 93.5 cents.

CIMB Securities maintained an add call as Thai Beverage "is now on the verge of evolving into a regional beverage player with an even bigger platform".

Four companies were queried by the Singapore Exchange over unusual price and volume movements.

Semiconductor firm Sunright fell 2 per cent or one cent to 48.5 cents while consumer products provider Hanwell Holdings was up 16.4 per cent or 5.5 cents to 39 cents.

China Sunshine Chemical jumped 12.5 per cent or seven cents to 63 cents while precision components producer Broadway Industrial Group surged 23.8 per cent or 3.1 cents to 16.1 cents.

Sunright and China Sunshine said they could not explain the trading activity.

Traders said tech counters such as Fu Yu Corp and AEM Holdings enjoyed a new lease of life as they were trading at discounts to their books and at cheap prices to earnings multiples.

Fu Yu gained 4.3 per cent, or one cent, to 24.5 cents. AEM rose 2 per cent, or four cents, to $2.06.

"The main boost has come from broker reports suggesting special dividends, capital reduction as well as takeover and privatisation possibilities," said KGI Securities trading strategist Nicholas Teo.

The most actively traded counters included Alliance Mineral, which gained 3.7 per cent, or one cent, to 28 cents on trade of 95.1 million shares, and Artivision Tech, up 19 per cent, or 0.4 cent, to 2.5 cents, with 80.9 million shares traded.

ISR Capital was flat at 1.1 cents, with 67.9 million shares traded.

Beleaguered private clinic chain Healthway Medical dipped 2.3 per cent, or 0.1 cent, to 4.3 cents.

This was despite news that it had reached an agreement to amended terms for a lifeline $70 million convertible bonds deal with private equity fund Gateway Partners.

Around 63.1 million shares changed hands.

Coffee shop operator Kimly fell 7.8 per cent, or four cents, to 47 cents, with 56.6 million shares traded.

Private equity fund TIH slipped 10.1 per cent, or seven cents, to 62 cents, after it said it could undergo another restructuring amid talks over a potential transaction that would result in a change of control.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 24, 2017, with the headline 'Bargain hunters put STI on healthier footing'. Print Edition | Subscribe