Bulls And Bears

Investors unmoved by slew of corporate news

STI rises 0.14% in slow session with few clear leads; analysts advise caution

Despite a flurry of corporate news, investors remained unimpressed yesterday in a slow session with few clear leads.

The benchmark Straits Times Index inched up 5.02 points, or 0.14 per cent, to 3,584.56 on trade of 1.49 billion shares worth $1.22 billion. Losers beat gainers 246 to 187.

DBS analysts noted: "We believe it pays to be cautious. Domestic drivers offer very little conviction for markets to move higher either as interest rates and exchange rates take charge, while trade war tactics add to uncertainties."

Thai Beverage helped the index move a little, adding seven cents to 87.5 cents on trade of 89.31 million shares, the second-most active.

Reports on Monday said ThaiBev had put three representatives on the board of state-linked Vietnamese brewer Sabeco. ThaiBev took a majority stake in Sabeco last year but had complained of delays in having its directors approved.

ThaiBev's Fraser and Neave unit, which closed flat at $2.09, upped its stake in another Vietnamese state-owned enterprise on Monday. It now holds about 20 per cent of leading dairy producer Vinamilk.

But Venture Corporation wobbled, losing $2.17, or 8.49 per cent, to $23.40. The electronic services provider, which will report its earnings today, has taken a hit from purported client Philip Morris' electronic cigarette sales woes.

Singapore Technologies Engineering was down 14 cents to $3.48 on its ex-dividend date. A 75.3 per cent-owned road construction equipment joint venture in China has filed a bankruptcy petition, ST Engineering said on Monday night.

Offshore services company Ezion Holdings was a hot stock again, topping the actives list on a volume of 90.02 million shares. It shed 1.2 cents, or 7.06 per cent, to 15.8 cents.

Entertainment firm mm2 Asia closed flat at 49 cents after late-night news that Osim founder Ron Sim is putting up $2 million to become a pre-listing investor in subsidiary Vividthree Holdings.

Lian Beng Group spin-off SLB Development dipped one cent, or 4.08 per cent, to 23.5 cents. It has made its first big deal since its Catalist debut, with a 51 per cent-owned unit paying $76.25 million for Pei-Fu Industrial Building.

Mainboard-listed property developer Oxley Holdings, which owns the remaining 49 per cent of the unit, added 0.5 cent to 49 cents.

ESR-Reit fell 0.5 cent to 53.5 cents after inking a $95.8 million acquisition deal for a Tampines logistics facility.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 25, 2018, with the headline 'Investors unmoved by slew of corporate news'. Print Edition | Subscribe