Singapore shares up at midday

REUTERS - Singapore shares rose on Monday, with Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust and CNA Group outperforming the broader market.

The Straits Times Index was up 0.4 per cent at 3,227.01 by midday, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.3 per cent higher.

Units of Suntec Reit, which owns retail and office properties, rose as much as 2.3 per cent and were among the top traded stocks by value in the Singapore market.

The company reported distribution per unit (DPU) of 2.249 cents for its second quarter, down 4.7 per cent from a year earlier, mainly due to partial closure of its Suntec City Mall and Suntec Singapore for improvement works.

Maybank Kim Eng said Suntec is one of the few Singapore Reits with a DPU compound annual growth rate of 4 per cent from 2012 to 2015, following the major overhaul at Suntec City. The broker maintained its "buy" rating and $1.75 target price.

CIMB Research said Suntec's valuation at 0.75 times price-to-book-value is attractive compared to the trust's peers.

It maintained its "outperform" rating and $1.68 target price.

Shares of CNA Group, which has businesses in IT solutions, water treatment and infrastructure, extended gains since the company announced a share placement last week.

The stock jumped as much as 15 per cent on Monday with nearly 168 million shares traded, the top traded stock by volume.