Singapore stock watch: SIA to cut 96% of capacity; DBS, UOB, OCBC share buybacks surge

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

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES, THE STRAITS TIMES) - The following companies saw new developments that may affect trading of their securities on Monday (macrh 23):

Singapore Airlines (SIA): The national carrier said it will be cutting 96 per cent of the capacity that had been originally scheduled up to end-April in the midst of the tightening of border controls around the world over the last week to stem the Covid-19 outbreak. This will result in the grounding of around 138 SIA and SilkAir aircraft, out of a total fleet of 147, amid the greatest challenge that the SIA Group has faced in its existence, SIA said in a statement on Monday (March 23). It said that its low-cost unit Scoot will also suspend most of its network, resulting in the grounding of 47 of its fleet of 49 aircraft. Shares in SIA closed at $6.02 on Friday, down $0.10 or 1.6 per cent.

DBS, United Overseas Bank (UOB), OCBC Bank: Share buybacks by the trio of Singapore banks surged this month amid the market turmoil, as the valuations of their shares have hit levels below their book value in recent days. DBS leads the tally across all Singapore-listed stocks with a whopping $368 million spent on share buybacks since the start of March.

At Friday's close, DBS shares rose $0.76 or 4.3 per cent to $18.16; OCBC shares gained $0.28 or 3.5 per cent to $8.36; while UOB moved up by $0.61 or 3.3 per cent to $18.96.

NetLink NBN Trust: The mainboard-listed fibre broadband operator is eyeing redevelopment in mature estates such as Toa Payoh and new commercial and residential buildings in new estates, such as the Punggol Digital District or Tengah. It is also looking at expanding its offerings to non-broadband users. The counter closed on Friday at 90 cents, up 10.5 cents or 13.2 per cent.

Tiong Seng Holdings: The mainboard-listed construction group and property developer has been awarded a construction contract worth $227.5 million by MTG Apartments and MTG Retail for a residential project on Tan Quee Lan Street, the mainboard-listed firm said on Monday. Shares of Tiong Seng fell 3.1 cents or 20 per cent to close at 12.4 cents on Friday.

OUE Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust (OUE C-Reit): Its manager on Saturday announced a new $2 billion multicurrency debt issuance programme. The two issuers for the programme are OUE C-Reit's trustee as well as OUE C-Reit's wholly-owned subsidiary OUE CT Treasury. Units of OUE C-Reit gained 3.5 cents or 12.1 per cent to 32.5 cents at Friday's close.

UMS Holdings: The mainboard-listed precision engineering firm on Friday said its facilities in Penang can continue its operations amid Malaysia's ongoing movement control order. This comes as semiconductors are included in the Malaysian government's list of essential services. The counter closed at 62.5 cents on Friday, up 7.8 per cent or 4.5 cents, before the announcement.

Frencken Group: The mainboard-listed equipment service provider on Friday said Malaysia's 14-day movement control order is not expected to have an impact on its operations outside of Malaysia or affect manufacturing operations in Singapore. Customers in other markets will continue to be served by its factories in Asia, Europe and the US. The counter rose 5.5 cents or 11.6 per cent to finish at 53 cents on Friday.

Sunright: The mainboard-listed company, which provides burn-in and test services for the semiconductor industry, on Saturday said it can continue to operate at a minimal level in Malaysia amid the country's movement control order. Sunright shares closed at 32.5 cents on Friday, up 2.5 cents or 8.3 per cent.

CSE Global: The mainboard-listed IT systems integrator said the coronavirus outbreak has not dealt a huge blow to its operations, and indicated an optimistic medium-term outlook. It intends to expand market share over the next two to three years, particularly in the US. Shares of CSE Global closed at 34 cents on Friday, up 8 per cent or 2.5 cents.