Bulls And Bears

Healthy manufacturing data boosts STI

Traders monitoring outcome of vote in US on replacing parts of Obamacare

Singapore shares closed higher yesterday on positive sentiment over another strong month of manufacturing growth and ahead of the outcome of a closely-watched vote in the United States on repealing and replacing parts of Obamacare.

Investors are watching that outcome for indications on whether the Trump administration can deliver on its ambitious agenda, including a sweeping tax overhaul and infrastructure spending.

The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 0.51 per cent or 15.97 points higher at 3,142.90, lifted by Sats, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, Global Logistic Properties (GLP) and some property counters. It closed the week down 0.8 per cent.

News that Warburg Pincus is positioning itself as a strategic bidder for GLP sent the stock climbing 1.4 per cent or four cents to $2.80, with 32.6 million shares traded.

The US buyout firm is reportedly weighing a merger of its logistics business E-Shang Redwood with GLP before a planned initial public offering either in Hong Kong or mainland China, Bloomberg said.

Ground handling firm Sats gained 2.3 per cent or 11 cents to $4.82, and Chinese shipbuilder Yangzijiang rose 2.3 per cent or 2.5 cents to $1.13.

Property counters also helped lift the market. City Developments added nearly 2 per cent or 20 cents to $10.42, after RHB maintained a buy call. It noted that the developer has, despite tough market conditions, managed to fully lease out office and retail space at its South Beach integrated project, which should boost its recurring income stream.

CapitaLand rose 1.1 per cent or four cents to $3.69, and UOL Group climbed 1 per cent or seven cents to $6.93.

Among the most active stocks was ISR Capital, which plunged 36.4 per cent or 0.4 cent to 0.7 cent, with 148.3 million shares traded.

"ISR issued 62.5 million conversion shares to a subscriber at a huge discount to its market price," remisier Alvin Yong said.

Chasen shares jumped 34 per cent or 1.7 cents to 6.7 cents after it announced that it had secured $50 million worth of projects in China for the full years 2017 and 2018.

C&G Environmental Protection fell 74.6 per cent or 9.1 cents to 3.1 cents, with 43 million shares traded, after it went ex-dividend, prompting a sell-off. This means investors who bought shares after March 24 will not be entitled to its second interim special dividend of 10.3 cents a share payable on April 5.

The waste-to-energy firm declared the special dividend for full year 2017, after receiving the balance payment for the sale of its businesses.

Also active were Artivision Tech, which was flat at 2.5 cents, with 76.3 million shares changing hands; and LionGold, also flat at 0.1 cent with turnover of 67 million shares. Alliance Mineral rose 10.7 per cent or three cents to 31 cents, with 63.5 million shares traded.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 25, 2017, with the headline 'Healthy manufacturing data boosts STI '. Print Edition | Subscribe