Singapore shares slip by midday, headed for biggest monthly loss in 15 months

REUTERS - Singapore shares eased, headed for their biggest monthly drop in more than a year, led by sharp falls in Thai Beverage and Olam International.

The benchmark Straits Times Index eased 0.1 per cent to 3,034 points, on course for a nearly 2 per cent weekly drop in its fourth straight week in the red.

The index has fallen nearly 6 per cent so far in August, faring better than peers in Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand but underperforming Malaysia.

Olam shares fell as much as 2.7 per cent to an eight-month low of $1.42, down for the ninth session in 10, after the company reported a 48 per cent decline in quarterly net profit on higher tax charges and challenging market conditions.

Citi maintained its "buy" call on Olam, and pinned the target price at $2.60, though it chose Wilmar International as its top pick in the sector.

"(For Olam) we do think the assets are there, and it will take time for the assets to turn around. The reason we are positive is that when the assets get ready, it will generate a return," Citi analyst Patrick Yau said.

ThaiBev shares fell more than 7 per cent after soaring nearly 24 per cent in the previous session.