Money Matters: Morning business news round-up for April 3, 2014

Catch up on the morning's top business headlines with The Straits Times Money Desk's daily update.

1. Capitol Theatre to re-open next year

The iconic Capitol Theatre will open its doors again in the second quarter of next year, almost 17 years after it screened its last movie in 1998.

The theatre is part of a 542,000 sq ft integrated project Capitol Singapore on North Bridge Road, which is expected to be worth $1.1 billion upon completion. It will welcome visitors slightly earlier at the end of this year.

2. Mixed views for OCBC's credit ratings on Wing Hang deal

Two credit rating agencies have sounded a negative note on OCBC Bank's planned takeover of Hong Kong's Wing Hang Bank, which the Singapore lender announced on Tuesday.

Fitch Ratings said on Thursday it has placed OCBC's issuer default and viability ratings on "watch negative", indicating that these ratings could be downgraded on concerns of the bank's greater exposure to China if the deal goes through.

Moody's Investors Service has also put its ratings of OCBC on review for a possible downgrade, saying its main challenge is executing its financing plans for the acquisition.

But Standard & Poor's, which was the first to issue its take on the news, said on Tuesday that it was affirming its AA- long-term and A-1+ short-term credit ratings on OCBC.

3. Singapore factory activity dips in March

Singapore's factories turned slightly sluggish in March from the previous month as new orders and production levels slid, much in line with other key Asian economies such as China and India.

The Singapore Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) dipped from 50.9 in February to 50.8 in March, below the 51.1 level which economists were expecting. A reading above 50 indicates growth.

Money Matters is The Straits Times Money Desk's new series of online business news exclusives.

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