STI rises 22 points on expectations of positive vote in Greek parliament

A file picture of stocks markets in Singapore. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
A file picture of stocks markets in Singapore. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - Expectations that the Greek Parliament will approve the controversial bailout deal to save Greece from collapsing into economic chaos helped lift Singapore shares.

The benchmark Straits Times Index rose 22.36 to 3,338.86, with 1.22 billion shares worth S$807.1 million traded.

Greece's parliament has to approve legislation on draconian economic reforms by yesterday's deadline to secure the bailout funding it agreed with its European creditors on Monday. "Punters are betting on the Greek parliament approving the deal no matter how unpopular it is," a remisier said.

Blue-chip banking counters DBS and UOB got a fillip ahead of testimony from US Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen on the direction of monetary policy, with expectations for an interest rate hike by September.

DBS rose 0.7 per cent or 15 cents to S$21.20, UOB gained 1.1 per cent or 26 cents to S$23.22, and OCBC edged up 0.2 per cent or two cents to S$10.20.

Meanwhile, Chinese equities continued to retreat despite better than expected gross domestic product, which expanded 7 per cent in the second quarter from a year earlier, beating estimates for a 6.8 per cent increase. Shanghai fell 3.03 per cent, Shenzhen slipped 4.22 per cent, and Hang Seng was down 0.26 per cent.

"This suggests investors are not convinced that we have seen an end to slowing growth," IG market strategist Bernard Aw noted.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan gained 0.38 per cent, Taiwan rose 0.14 per cent and Korea was up 0.66 per cent.

In Singapore, speculation that CEFC International may enter into potential joint ventures continued to fuel the penny play. CEFC, the most actively traded counter yesterday soared 35 per cent or 2.2 cents to 8.4 cents, with 134 million shares traded yesterday.