STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Index slips, weighed by property stocks

Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:42am GMT

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Singapore shares fell, dragged lower by property stocks after the government launched sweeping measures to cool the buoyant housing market, where prices are at record levels driven by low interest rates and persistently strong demand.

The Straits Times Index was down 0.4 percent, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.3 percent higher.

The property sector index sank as much as 2.7 percent, its biggest drop since May 2012. Shares of CapitaLand Ltd fell more than 4 percent, while City Developments Ltd and Keppel Land Ltd dropped more than 6 percent each.

Banking stocks were also hit across the board on tighter housing loan rules. DBS Group Holdings Ltd, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, and United Overseas Bank were down between 1 percent and 2.1 percent.

Shares of offshore services firm Ezra Holdings Ltd fell as much as 5.4 percent with 17.5 million shares traded, 2.5 times the average full-day volume over the past 30 days.

The company reported early on Monday a 49 percent fall in first-quarter net profit to $6.8 million from a year earlier, hurt by higher expenses and lower contributions from associated companies. 1430 (0630 GMT)

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