STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Shares rebound after three days of losses

Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:57am GMT

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Singapore shares edged higher by midday, rebounding after three straight days of losses, boosted by gains in Singapore Telecommunications Ltd as investors switched to defensive stocks on concerns over the health of global economic growth.

By 0537 GMT, the Straits Times Index was up 0.1 percent at 3,199.58 points, while the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.5 percent.

SingTel was the largest gainer on the STI, rising 1.8 percent to S$3.46. Another defensive stock, transport operator ComfortDelGro Corp Ltd, climbed 1.6 percent to S$1.88.

The World Bank on Tuesday sharply cut its 2013 outlook for the world economy to 2.4 percent from its last forecast in June of 3.0 percent, blaming an unexpectedly sluggish recovery in developed countries for holding back global growth.

Shares of property developers such as CapitaLand are also up, after falling earlier this week on news of a fresh round of government measures to cool housing prices.

CapitaLand rose 1.3 percent to S$3.78 while City Developments Ltd gained 0.9 percent to S$11.43.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding (Holdings) Ltd was the second most actively traded stock by value, dropping 7.7 percent to S$1.015, after it announced a plan to issue 330 million warrants at S$0.0605 each.

DMG & Partners said the proposed issue was surprising given Yangzijiang's fairly strong balance sheet, and also dilutive as the existing share base will grow by 8.6 percent, assuming all warrants are converted into shares.

"The shipbuilding sector remains challenging as yards struggle with declining order book and thin margins," said DMG.

1347 (0547 GMT) (Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi; charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com)(Reuters Messaging:charmian.kok.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)

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12:52 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Public sector to support construction demand-BCA

Construction demand in Singapore is expected to remain strong this year, between S$26 billion and S$32 billion, boosted by public sector projects, said the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

Public sector demand is expected to contribute about 53 percent of overall industry demand, or S$14 billion-S$17 billion, boosted by strong public housing and infrastructure construction works.

Construction firms such as BBR Holdings Ltd, Yongnam Holdings Ltd and crane company Tat Hong Holdings Ltd could benefit.

Major public sector projects to be awarded this year include various contracts for the construction of Singapore's new Thomson train line, and the expansion of the Kallang Paya Lebar Expressway and Tampines Expressway interchange.

However, BCA expects private sector construction demand to moderate to S$12 billion-S$15 billion this year, hurt by slower domestic economic growth and continued global economic uncertainties.

"The private sector is likely to take a more cautious stance in terms of new construction investments. Private residential construction demand is projected to continue to soften in view of the anticipated continual slow economic growth in 2013," BCA said in a statement.

1241 (0441 GMT) (Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com)(Reuters Messaging: Editing by G.Ram Mohan; charmian.kok.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)

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11:25 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-CIMB, OCBC raise CapitaMalls Asia's target prices

CIMB Research raised its target price for CapitaMalls Asia Ltd to S$2.05 from S$1.99, and kept its 'neutral' rating, to account for its acquisition of a shopping mall site in China and higher share price for one of its part-owned property trusts.

By 0258 GMT, shares of CapitaMalls were 0.5 percent higher at S$2.16. They have gained 11.3 percent since the start of the year, compared with the benchmark Straits Times Index's 1.1 percent rise.

CapitaMalls acquired a shopping mall site in Wuhan, China for S$128.4 million, its fourth in that city. CIMB said this was in line with the company's strategy to expand in its core markets.

The brokerage also lifted its revalued net asset value slightly for CapitaMalls because of the higher share price for its unit CapitaRetail China Trust.

OCBC also raised its target price for CapitaMalls Asia to S$2.55 from S$2.16 and kept its 'buy' rating.

"We continue to favor CapitaMalls for executing sharply on a well thought-out strategy: active capital deployment into its growth market China through deepening its operational presence in key cities, such as Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Wuhan," OCBC said.

1112 (0312GMT) (Reporting by Teo Jion Chun in Singapore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier; teo.jionchun@thomsonreuters.com)(Reuters Messaging: teo.jionchun.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)

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