Midday market report: Property stocks up, Rowsley makes huge surge

A man walking past the SGX building.
A man walking past the SGX building.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore shares rose on Wednesday morning (July 19), with The Straits Times Index up 0.13 per cent to 3,310.49 at 1pm.

Markets in the region were buoyed by optimism on China's economy, following upbeat economic data out of China.

The Nikkei had fallen below the 20,000 mark on Tuesday after investor sentiment was dented by the decline of the United States dollar.

But it recovered this morning, moving up 0.1 per cent to 20021.49.

Hong Kong rose by 0.37 per cent while Sydney rose by 0.72 per cent.

The US dollar reached multi-month lows and overshadowed Asian stock trading on Tuesday after the Republicans failed to overhaul healthcare.

Ms Jane Fu, a sales trader at CMC Markets, said that "the market seems to have lost confidence that President Trump will be able to pursue a pro-growth agenda".

"The policy shift of the world's central banks will have a negative impact on the dollar," she said.

While the US dollar had fallen steadily against the Singapore dollar since last Tuesday, it moved up a whisker this morning, appreciating 0.07 per cent to S$1.3679 as at 11.30am.

The Straits Times Index was boosted by Yangzijiang Shipbuilding and some property players.

Yangzijiang was up 1.87 per cent or 59 Singapore cents to $2.62.

Singapore Press Holdings rose 1.36 per cent or four Singapore cents to $2.99. Ascendas Reits rose 1.52 per cent to $2.68, while CapitaLand Commercial Trust Management rose 1.18 per cent to $1.71.

Among the morning's big movers were Rowsley, which saw its shares soar about 60 per cent to hit $0.114.

The surge came after the real estate firm said on Tuesday that it will be buying healthcare assets from its controlling shareholder, Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim.

In a deal worth S$1.9 billion, Rowsley signed a non-binding term sheet to buy 100 per cent of Singapore hospital operator Thomson Medical and a 70.36 per cent stake in Malaysia's TMC Life Sciences from Lim Eng Hock.

Mr Lim, the owner of Spanish football club Valencia, indirectly owns a 45.34 per cent stake in Rowsley. The proposed deal will be financed by issuing new shares of $0.075 apiece to Mr Lim for the deal, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, M1 saw its shares fall by about 6.67 per cent to $1.96 by noon.

They had plunged nearly 9 per cent in the morning when trading opened after the company's biggest shareholders called off a strategic review of their stakes.

Malaysia telco Axiata Group, Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation (Keppel T&T) and Singapore Press Holdings - who collectively hold a 60 per cent stake in M1 - said on Tuesday that they had decided not to proceed further with the strategic review after considering proposals from interested parties.