Money Markets: Singapore index rises on banks, OCBC up after acquisition

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore shares extended their winning streak, supported by gains in banks, with Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) up 1 per cent after it struck a deal to buy Wing Hang Bank.

The benchmark Straits Times Index gained 0.4 per cent to 3,201, its highest in nearly five months, and up for the fifth day in a row. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.08 per cent.

OCBC was in the spotlight after it made an offer to buy Wing Hang Bank for US$4.95 billion (S$6.2 billion), in a deal that would give the Singapore lender a much sought-after gateway to the Greater China region.

More than 7.3 million shares of OCBC were traded as of midday, double the 30-day average trading volume. The acquisition offer was lower than expectations, with sources previously estimating the deal could be worth US$5.3 billion.

Shares in DBS rose 1.4 per cent and UOB ticked up 0.4 per cent.

Among small caps, shares in LionGold Corp eased, with nearly 51 million shares traded, double the average 30-day volume. The company said its CEO had resigned, citing health reasons. LionGold was embroiled in a penny stock scandal in October.

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