Bulls And Bears

S'pore shares up on talk of funds buying stocks

Rise also due to interest in energy-related, property counters viewed as buyout targets

Local shares closed higher yesterday on talk of funds buying undervalued stocks and investors snapping up energy-related and property counters that could be buyout targets.

The Straits Times Index closed 0.48 per cent or 14.73 points higher at 3,071.64.

Corporate moves by Indonesia's Riady family were in the spotlight yesterday. Healthway Medical gained 2.5 per cent or 0.1 cent to 4.1 cents, with 162 million shares traded after several companies belonging to the family-controlled Lippo Group made an offer to increase their stake in the Singapore firm.

Separately, Auric Pacific jumped 13.4 per cent or 19.5 cents to $1.65 after an investment vehicle owned by Dr Stephen Riady and son-in-law Andy Adhiwana, the company's controlling shareholders, offered to buy the company and take it private.

"Popiah King" Sam Goi's GSH Corp jumped 6.5 per cent or 3.5 cents to 57 cents after a company-led consortium entered into a binding term sheet with Hong Kong-listed Fullshare Holdings to sell the consortium's investment vehicle Plaza Ventures for $725.2 million.

Global Logistic Properties (GLP) extended gains on news that a Chinese consortium led by Hopu Investment Management, together with GLP's chief executive, has submitted a bid for the company. GLP added one cent or 0.4 per cent to $2.75, with 23.7 million shares traded.

Wheelock Properties was also actively traded, rising 2.6 per cent or 4.5 cents to $1.765. The company, along with Mermaid Maritime, is among potential buyout candidates trading below book value, Ms Carmen Lee, OCBC head of research, told Bloomberg. Mermaid Maritime rose 3 per cent or 0.6 cent to 20.5 cents on talk that its key shareholders may launch a buyout bid.

Another hotly traded counter was Ezra Holdings. It ended flat at three cents with 175.4 million shares traded after getting a statutory demand from Forland Subsea for payment of about 25.5 million Norwegian krone (S$4.4 million).

The beleaguered offshore and marine group said that Forland is threatening to apply for Ezra to be wound up if payment is not made within three weeks.

Meanwhile, Best World was queried by the Singapore Exchange after its shares sank nearly 10 per cent or 19.5 cents to $1.76, while Hu An Cable Holdings was queried over unusual volume movements in its shares. Hu An soared 33.3 per cent or 0.2 cent to 0.8 cent, with 60.8 million shares traded.

StarHub continued to stay in negative territory after another broker downgraded the telco to a sell from hold. It fell 1.8 per cent or five cents to $2.75.

Maybank Kim Eng said the management may be investing "heavily in service and content differentiation this year" and reducing dividends to head off competition from a fourth telco in areas such as broadband.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 08, 2017, with the headline 'S'pore shares up on talk of funds buying stocks'. Print Edition | Subscribe