STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Index slightly up, Noble extends gains

Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:19am GMT

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Singapore shares were slightly higher, with Noble Group Ltd extending gains after the commodities trader said its chairman and chief executive had bought shares of the company.

The Straits Times Index was up 0.2 percent at 2,952.35 points, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.7 percent higher.

Noble said last Thursday its founder and chairman, Richard Elman, bought 7.34 million shares at S$1.08 each, raising his deemed holding to 21.41 percent from 21.29 percent.

Noble's chief executive, Yusuf Alireza, bought 7.25 million shares, representing 0.1 percent of the company's issued share capital, at S$1.08 each.

By 0504 GMT, Noble shares were up 1.9 percent, bringing total gains over the last two sessions so far to nearly 3 percent. The stock slipped last week after reports that its vice-chairman was selling 225 million shares.

Shares of Sembcorp Marine Ltd rose as much as 1.7 percent after the oil rig builder said its unit, Jurong Shipyard, and Oslo-listed Prosafe SE had finalised a contract for an accommodation semi-submersible rig worth $295.2 million.

1311 (0511 GMT)

(Reporting by Eveline Danubrata in Singapore; Editing by G.Ram Mohan; eveline.danubrata@thomsonreuters.com)

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10:52 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Maybank sees office rents falling 10 pct in 2013

Maybank Kim Eng said it expects office rents in Singapore to slide by 10 percent in 2013, after falling 12-15 percent over the past four quarters, as demand in the near term is set to remain weak.

Marina One and DUO, two mixed use developments that will come onstream five years down the road, are seen adding nearly 2.5 million square feet of prime Grade A office space, Maybank said.

"However, office players are in for a tough time as they face stiff competition from other Grade A developments completing from now till 2017, which may exert more downward pressure on rents in the near term," Maybank said.

The broker added that the Singapore economy experienced a contraction in the third quarter from the previous quarter, and the government is guiding for subdued growth of 1-3 percent next year.

Maybank maintained its 'hold' rating on Keppel REIT and Singapore Land Ltd. It has a 'sell' call on CapitaCommercial Trust.

1048 (0248 GMT)

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