Singapore stock watch: SIA halts trading for announcement

The Singapore Exchange Centre in Shenton Way.
The Singapore Exchange Centre in Shenton Way.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES, REUTERS) - The following companies saw new developments that may affect trading of their securities on Thursday (March 26):

Singapore Airlines (SIA). SIA called for a rare trading halt pending an announcement on Thursday morning,  days after it said it would ground almost its entire fleet and seek more financing as it grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

The airline did not provide details to the stock exchange on the topic of the planned announcement.

Singapore’s finance minister is set to unveil new support measures for workers, businesses and households in response to the pandemic later on Thursday. 

 On Tuesday, the flag carrier said its pilots will be placed on compulsory no-pay leave of between four and seven days a month starting April 1, as the airline and its unions work together to save jobs.

Just a day before, SIA announced that it was cutting 96 per cent of its planned capacity originally scheduled up to end-April given the further tightening of border controls around the world over the last week. 

It is also exploring ways to increase liquidity and reduce capital expenditure and operating costs amid the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, it said in a statement on Monday.

SIA shares closed 10.4 per cent or $0.61 higher at $6.50 on Wednesday.

Sats: The mainboard-listed airport and food services provider on Wednesday announced that it is offering $200 million in five-year notes with a fixed coupon rate of 2.88 per cent per annum payable semi-annually in arrear. The notes are in denominations of $250,000 and are expected to be issued on March 31, 2020. Shares of Sats closed up $0.36 or 13.2 per cent to $3.09 on Wednesday.

ComfortDelGro: The taxi-operator has increased the daily rental relief by $10 in a bid to help its cabbies who are affected by the Covid-19 outbreak, said the company in a statement on Wednesday. This means cabbies will see a total daily rental reduction of $46.50 till the end of April, instead of the end of March. The counter closed at $1.53 on Tuesday, up 4 per cent or $0.06.

OUE, OUE Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust (OUE C-Reit): Property group OUE and OUE C-Reit will rebrand Mandarin Orchard Singapore as Hilton Singapore Orchard to make it Hilton's flagship hotel in Singapore and its largest in the Asia-Pacific, OUE said on Thursday. OUE shares closed up $0.02 or 2 per cent to $1.04, while OUE C-Reit units closed up 2.5 cents or 8.2 per cent to 33 cents on Wednesday.


Bonvests Holdings: The mainboard-listed property group announced on Wednesday that it will revoke its proposed dividend of one cent per share for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2019 on the back of the negative impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on its business. The proposed dividend was previously announced on March 2 and is subject to shareholders' approval at the annual general meeting of the company to be held on April 29. Shares of Bonvests closed flat at $0.95 on Wednesday.

Wilmar International: The mainboard-listed agribusiness company on Wednesday announced the establishment of four new subsidiaries in the Solomon Islands, China, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, as well as an acquisition of one of its subsidiaries in China. 100 On Ridge, on the other hand, has been dissolved and has ceased to be a subsidiary. Wilmar shares closed up $0.24 or 7.9 per cent to $3.26 on Wednesday.

UMS Holdings: The precision engineering firm said on Wednesday that its factory in Penang will remain closed till April 14, in compliance with Malaysia's extension of the movement control order. The firm had previously announced that the factory would be closed till March 31, but has now extended the closure period. UMS shares closed up $0.04 or 6.7 per cent at $0.64 on Wednesday.

ARA US Hospitality Trust (ARA H-Trust): ARA H-Trust has initiated cost controls by cutting labour cost hours and staffing, closing certain facilities and amenities and reviewing all operating contracts under its "cost mitigation and capital preservation measures", its managers announced on Wednesday. This comes as its portfolio faces increasing booking cancellations and fewer new reservations. ARA H-Trust units were trading down US$0.03 or 8.5 per cent to US$0.33 on Wednesday.


Sim Leisure Group: The company announced on Wednesday that it has incorporated a 60 per cent-owned subsidiary, Sim Leisure Creative, in Singapore. The subsidiary will engage in the leasing of non-financial intangible assets such as patents and trademarks, and provide management consultancy services. Sim Leisure shares closed 0.5 cent lower or 2.3 per cent at 21 cents on Wednesday.

Geo Energy Resources: Fitch ratings downgraded the mainboard-listed coal miner's long-term issuer default rating and the rating on its subsidiary Geo Coal International's outstanding senior unsecured guaranteed notes from B- to CC. The ratings downgrade reflects the view that a default is probable within the next 12 months, given its weak operating profile and deteriorating liquidity, Fitch said on Wednesday. Geo Energy shares were up 1.3 per cent to $0.08 on Wednesday.