Singapore stock watch: SIA, Singapore banks, Sheng Siong, Hongkong Land, Sembcorp, Sembmarine

The Singapore Exchange Centre in Shenton Way.
The Singapore Exchange Centre in Shenton Way.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - The following companies saw new developments that may affect trading of their securities on Thursday (July 30):

Singapore Airlines (SIA): The flag carrier plunged deep into the red for its first quarter ended June 30 with a $1.12 billion net loss, versus a net profit of $111 million a year ago, due to weaker operating performance and the financial impact of $127 million from the liquidation of low-cost airline NokScoot. SIA shares fell $0.04 or 1.1 per cent to $3.53 on Wednesday, before the results were released.

DBS, OCBC, United Overseas Bank (UOB): The Monetary Authority of Singapore on Wednesday evening called on local banks to cap their total dividends per share for FY2020 at 60 per cent of the amount in the previous financial year, in a move to shore up capital amid the uncertain economic climate.

Separately, the family that owns beleaguered Singaporean oil trader Hin Leong Trading is seeking to block a request from creditor OCBC that overseers be appointed for Xihe Holdings and four other subsidiaries to recoup its debt.

DBS shares declined $0.10 or 0.5 per cent to $20.40 at Wednesday's close, OCBC shed $0.07 or 0.8 per cent to $8.90, while UOB lost $0.09 or 0.5 per cent to $20.02.

Sheng Siong Group: The supermarket chain's net profit more than doubled in its second quarter to $46.2 million, from $18.4 million a year ago, on the back of strong revenue growth, improved gross margin and government grants. Its shares gained $0.03 or 1.8 per cent to close at $1.73 on Wednesday, before the results were announced.

Hongkong Land: The property developer and investment company on Wednesday night announced a net loss of US$1.8 billion for the first half of the year, compared to a net profit of US$411 million a year ago. This was mainly due to net non-cash losses of US$2.18 billion. The counter closed at US$3.72 on Wednesday, down US$0.05 or 1.3 per cent.

Sembcorp Industries, Sembcorp Marine: Both companies' shareholders have expressed concerns about the proposed "demerger", especially given the poor macroeconomic conditions. Those present at a dialogue hosted by the Securities Investors Association (Singapore) also wanted to know whether the two firms had considered alternative options. Sembcorp shares finished flat at $1.74 on Wednesday, while Sembmarine shares dropped 0.5 cent or 1.3 per cent to 39.5 cents.

Japfa: The industrial agri-food company's net profit for its first half grew six times to US$76.8 million, thanks to better operating profit in its "other animal protein" segment, which was driven by continued high average selling prices for fattened pigs. Japfa shares climbed 4.5 cents or 7.3 per cent to 66 cents on Wednesday, before the results were released.

Dairy Farm International: On Wednesday after trading hours, the mainboard-listed firm posted a 35 per cent drop in net profit to US$115 million, despite a 6 per cent increase in total sales. This came amid reduced contributions from its health and beauty segment, Maxim's and convenience stores as a result of Covid-19, curbs imposed by governments to contain the pandemic, and the impact of the contagion on customer behaviours. Dairy Farm shares rose US$0.01 or 0.2 per cent to finish at US$4.15 on Wednesday.

Far East Hospitality Trust: Its distribution per stapled security after retention tumbled 43.4 per cent to 1.03 cents for its first half ended June 30, 2020, from 1.82 cents a year ago, the managers said on Thursday. The counter closed flat at 49.5 cents on Wednesday.

Indofood Agri Resources: The company's net loss widened to 429.42 billion rupiah (S$41 million) for the half year ended June 30, from 274.33 billion rupiah a year ago, it announced on Thursday. The mainboard-listed stock last traded at 29 cents on Tuesday, up 0.5 cent or 1.8 per cent.