Local shares ended higher, buoyed by an oil price rebound and better sentiment, as Singtel's third-quarter earnings beat forecasts.
The Straits Times Index gained 13.43 points or 0.44 per cent to close at 3,079.96.
Singtel jumped as much as 1.3 per cent before ending 1 per cent or four cents higher at $3.88 on trade of 36.5 million shares. The telco posted a 2 per cent rise in third-quarter net profit to $972.8 million, as it saw strong core business and higher contributions from regional mobile associates. RHB, keeping a neutral call, said Singtel remains its "preferred" local telco pick as "valuations are fair, given the competitive pressure it faced in Australia, coupled with its decent dividend yield".
Singtel's lower dependence on the domestic mobile market makes it less vulnerable to the fourth telco's debut.
Sentiment was also helped by news that US President Donald Trump told Chinese leader Xi Jinping in a letter that he is looking forward to a "constructive relationship".
Global Logistic Properties (GLP), the target of a buyout bid led by a Chinese private equity group, rose 0.7 per cent or two cents to $2.78 on trade of 22.3 million shares as investors speculate that a bidding war may erupt. "Whether a takeover happens or not, people will see the price movement as vindication of their beliefs," a dealer said.
The firm yesterday posted a 7.3 per cent drop in third-quarter net profit to $170.7 million due to a one-time syndication gain in the same period a year ago related to its first US portfolio and higher foreign exchange losses. OCBC Investment Research, which has an "under review" call on GLP, said the results were "mostly within expectations".
Higher oil prices helped boost offshore marine counters. Vallianz Holdings jumped 21.1 per cent or 0.4 cent to 2.3 cents on 164.5 million shares done, ahead of its fourth-quarter earnings results, due on Feb 13. Viking Offshore jumped 19.4 per cent or 0.6 cent to 3.7 cents; Sembcorp Marine rose 1.4 per cent or two cents to $1.49 and KrisEnergy put on 1.6 per cent or 0.3 cent to 19.4 cents.
Sats fell 1.8 per cent or nine cents to $4.98, ahead of the release of its third-quarter earnings. Its net profit jumped 7.4 per cent to $65.1 million year on year, but revenue was virtually flat at S$440.9 million.
SBS Transit shares dipped 0.4 per cent or one cent to $2.30 ahead of the release of its full-year earnings yesterday. Its net profit for the year ended Dec 31 jumped 87.6 per cent to $31.4 million, as revenue climbed 7.3 per cent to $1.09 billion.
Investors are watching for SingPost's third-quarter results and ComfortDelGro's full-year results today. Penny plays Sinocloud Group and Artivision Technologies were queried by the Singapore Exchange. SinoCloud soared 50 per cent or 0.1 cent to 0.3 cent, with 106.2 million shares traded, while Artivision dropped 3.2 per cent or 0.1 cent to three cents on trade of 122.7 million shares.