Genting Singapore near one-month high on CIMB upgrade; ST index flat

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Casino operator Genting Singapore rose to a near one-month high after CIMB upgraded its rating on the stock, citing expectations of a recovery in the high-rollers' business in the coming quarters, while Singapore's benchmark index moved very little.

Genting Singapore jumped as much as 3.4 per cent to $1.52, headed for its biggest daily rise in nearly three months. The stock has risen 9 per cent so far this year, compared with a modest 0.3 per cent gain in the benchmark Straits Times Index .

The recovery in the high-rollers' business and the prospect of the company winning a casino license in Japan prompted CIMB to upgrade the stock from "underperform" to "outperform".

"Although the mass segment in RWS (Resorts World Sentosa) will remain flat until FY15 when more room capacity from its new 550-room hotel at the Jurong Lake District comes on stream, the VIP business looks to be in a healthy position to drive an earnings recovery over the next few quarters," said CIMB analyst Lucius Chong in a research note.

The benchmark Straits Times Index was little changed at 3,179.40 by midday, as the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.2 per cent.

Other stocks performing well on the index included Wilmar International and industrial conglomerate Jardine Matheson Holdings. Wilmar climbed 1.4 per cent, and Jardine Matheson 1.3 per cent.