Bulls And Bears

S'pore shares fall again despite regional rally

Straits Times Index is weighed down by the Big Three banks as focus shifts to Hong Kong

Local shares fell for a second straight day despite Hong Kong leading regional indices higher.

The Straits Times Index dipped 9.4 points or 0.29 per cent to 3,236.65, weighed down by all three local banks as attention shifted to their Hong Kong peers.

The Hang Seng Index rose for a second day after trading reopened after a holiday, climbing 0.73 per cent as investors continued to cheer the People's Bank of China's decision to cut the reserve requirement ratio for some banks.

The move to spur lending, which takes effect next year, is expected to boost bank margins. Developers also rallied as traders seemed to swop deleveraging fears for an assurance of ample liquidity.

The Hong Kong market is closed again today following the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival.

In the broader market here, turnover dropped to $999 million on volume of 1.87 billion. Gainers outnumbered losers 236 to 184.

SIA Engineering dived 25 cents or 7.22 per cent to $3.21, on volume of 10.2 million. The stock had touched an intra-day low of $3.15 - the lowest since Dec 2009 - after news on Tuesday that JPMorgan was selling its entire block of 38.9 million shares at $3.11 to $3.30 per share.

Bloomberg cited sources that a sale was made at $3.11, a 10.1 per cent discount to the last close. JPMorgan Securities bought the shares from an unnamed institution, which it then sold through this block trade, the report said.

SIA Engineering said it was not aware of any other possible explanation for the trading, besides the Bloomberg report.

Among the top gainers was Delong Holdings, which added 14.5 cents or 8.06 per cent to $1.945, a fifth straight day of gains. Responding to a trading query on Tuesday, Delong said it is in a bidding exercise to acquire 51 per cent of Anhui Shoukuang Dachang Metal Materials, announced in May.

Hi-P International gained 10 cents or 6.97 per cent to $1.535, also a fifth straight day of gains. On Tuesday, DBS raised its 12-month target price to $1.67. "Hi-P is in a sweet spot now as more than half of its earnings are derived from the wireless (smartphone) and computer peripherals segments, which are expected to continue to do well in the next one to two years," wrote DBS analyst Ling Lee Keng.

Elsewhere, concert promotion firm UnUsUal jumped five cents or 10.2 per cent to 54 cents on volume of 6.8 million, prompting a query from the Singapore Exchange.

UnUsUal said it "is looking at a certain corporate exercise, however it has not been finalised".

The top actives included Addvalue Technologies, which fell 0.1 cent or 2.22 per cent to 4.4 cents on volume of 50.7 million after a trading halt was lifted. In an answer to a query on Tuesday, Addvalue referred to its announcement in April on the planned spin-off of a unit, which it noted was at a "preliminary stage".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 05, 2017, with the headline 'S'pore shares fall again despite regional rally'. Print Edition | Subscribe