Singapore stocks flat; Golden Agri headed for worst day in a month

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Palm oil firm Golden Agri-Resources fell more than 2 per cent on Tuesday, headed for its biggest daily loss in nearly a month due to lower palm oil prices, and weighed on Singapore's benchmark stock index, which was little changed.

"The CPO prices are weaker today, which could have driven Golden Agri share price lower," said Ivy Ng, an analyst at CIMB, adding that Golden Agri's share price has the highest correlation with palm oil prices due to its large free float.

The benchmark crude palm oil futures contract on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange eased to a one-week low.

Golden Agri shares fell as much as 2.6 per cent to $0.57, down 12 per cent so far in 2013, in its third year in the red.

CIMB set a "neutral" rating and a target price of $0.60, but added the stock is fairly valued and in line with historical price-earnings ratio. The forward core P/E ratio stands at 22.13.

CIMB favours First Resources, which trades at 12 times of its earnings, for its young estates and good management. First Resources shares rose more than 2 per cent, and have climbed 13 per cent so far this year.

The benchmark Straits Times Index was little changed at 3,189.62 points by midday, while the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged down 0.6 per cent.

In its 2013 year book, CIMB listed DBS Group Holdings, Keppel Corporation, Wilmar International and Global Logistic Properties, alongside First Resources, as its top five big-cap buys.

Among small-cap companies, Ezion Holding gained 56 per cent this year, earning the Singapore-based offshore logistics and services company a spot in CIMB's top five small-cap picks.