Bulls and bears

Genting dips, new Catalist counter shines

Casino operator suffers knock-on effect as rival's earnings fall short of expectations

A Hong Kong rally helped Singapore shares close a smidgen higher, after recovering losses from earlier in the day sparked by a weak Wall Street lead.

The benchmark Straits Times Index closed 0.12 per cent or 3.59 points higher at 2,933.44.

While good earnings from the gambling sector helped Hong Kong gain 0.6 per cent, casino operator Genting Singapore weighed on the local bourse. Shares of Genting fell 3.1 per cent or 2.5 cents to 77.5 cents, with 19.6 million shares traded, after rival Marina Bay Sands' (MBS') second-quarter earnings came in below expectations.

MBS' mass table revenues, which account for 38 per cent of its total gaming revenue, fell for the first time in four years. That led some investors to expect weak mass market revenues when Genting Singapore reports its second-quarter earnings on Aug 4.

Traders are also awaiting the second-quarter results of United Overseas Bank tomorrow. "They are watching for any further worsening in its non-performing loans because oil prices haven't recovered. Brexit's impact on its foreign-dollar loans, especially those denominated in pounds, will also be closely watched," remisier Alvin Yong said.

Oil prices weighed on sentiment, falling to a three-month low on renewed concerns over a supply glut.

Keppel Corp fell 0.5 per cent or three cents to $5.44. Maybank Kim Eng maintained a sell call after the conglomerate's first-half earnings missed forecasts, with low work volume and project deferments in the offshore marine segment hurting revenue. "Performances from other divisions were insufficient to make up for the offshore marine segment's weakness," it said.

Ezra Holdings shed 1.7 per cent or 0.1 cent to 5.7 cents, with 45.2 million shares traded. Food and beverage firm Katrina Group made a strong trading debut at 34 cents, well above its 21-cent initial public offering price. The stock hit a high of 40.5 cents before ending the day at 34 cents, with nearly 53 million shares traded. The Catalist-listed group placed out 35.8 million new shares to raise gross proceeds of $7.5 million.

Other hotly traded penny plays included CNMC Goldmine, which surged 12.5 per cent or 5.5 cents to 49.5 cents, with 41.7 million shares changing hands. A temporary stop-work order on CNMC's Sokor project, issued on July 19, was lifted on Monday. The order was part of the Kelantan government's review of CNMC's application to mine unlimited amounts of ore from Sokor.

Shares of Yoma Strategic closed 0.8 per cent or 0.5 cent lower at 60 cents after its first-quarter net profits fell 28.6 per cent to $1.8 million, weighed down by uncertainty in Myanmar's real estate market.

Yoma, known for its Myanmar-focused business portfolio, pulled in just $3.1 million in sales of residences and land development rights, down 75 per cent from a year earlier.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2016, with the headline 'Genting dips, new Catalist counter shines'. Print Edition | Subscribe