STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Shares recover from lows by midday

Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:32am EDT

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The Singapore market edged up from intra-day lows, but was still in the red by midday, with oil rig builders such as Keppel Corp Ltd figuring among gainers.

The benchmark Straits Times Index was down 0.05 percent or 1.50 points at 2,986.32, rebounding from an intraday low of 2,969.36. Most Asian markets also traded lower.

"Some industries are performing better today, like the oil and gas names including Keppel, due to positive expectations on the recent contract wins," said Ng Kian Teck, lead analyst at SIAS Research.

Keppel rose 0.5 percent, while smaller rig builder Sembcorp Marine Ltd gained 0.6 percent. Keppel hit an 11-month high on Friday and advanced as much as 3.6 percent after winning a contract to build five rigs for Sete Brasil in a deal worth $4.12 billion.

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1320 (0520 GMT)

(Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com)

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13:07 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Muted take-up for CapitaLand's new project-DMG

DMG & Partners said the latest residential property project by Southeast Asia's largest property developer, CapitaLand Ltd , in Singapore's suburb of Bishan was priced at a lower than expected level.

The broker said the Sky Habitat project, designed by well known architect Moshe Safdie, was priced at between S$1,642-1,747 per square foot (psf) which was below market expectations of S$1,700-1,800 per square foot.

"We believe the take up for the initial project launch is somewhat below our expectations given the good location of the project, and the initial achieved average selling prices are also at the lower end of market expectations of S$1,700-S$1,800 psf," DMG said in a report.

Singapore property prices have rebounded sharply from the steep fall during the global financial crisis in 2009 and record low interest rates have boosted demand.

DMG maintained its neutral rating on CapitaLand with a target price of S$3.03 a share. The shares eased 0.3 percent to S$2.94 and have jumped about 33 percent so far this year, more than double the rise in the broader market.

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1250 (0450 GMT)

(Reporting by Harry Suhartono in Singapore; harry.suhartono@thomsonreuters.com)

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09:42 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Brokers lift target price for SPH

OCBC Investment Research raised its target price for Singapore Technologies Engineering to S$3.50 from S$3.32 and kept its buy rating, citing the company's strong contract wins.

Shares of ST Engineering were 0.3 percent lower at S$3.18, but have gained 18 percent since the start of the year.

ST Engineering said its aerospace arm had secured about $540 million worth of contracts in the first quarter. This lifts the company's total orders to S$1.5 billion for the period, said OCBC.

The broker said ST Engineering's S$880 million contract win from the Royal Navy of Oman should restore investors' confidence in its defence sales, especially after recent problems its unit ST Kinetics had faced in India.

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0937 (0137 GMT)

(Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com)

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09:36 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Brokers lift target price for SPH

Publishing and property firm Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) reported on Friday an 11.6 percent rise in its second quarter net profit, which was in line with expectations and two brokers raised their target prices for the company.

CIMB Research has increased its target price for SPH to S$4.13 from S$3.90 and kept its neutral rating, citing higher property values and to reflect the acquisition of a land site in northeast of Singapore.

SPH, which has a near monopoly of newspaper publishing in Singapore, said on Friday its net profit rose to S$84.1 million ($67 million) from S$75.4 million a year ago.

Shares of SPH were flat at S$3.89, and have gained 5.4 percent since the start of the year.

Cost pressures receded in the second quarter, due to softening newsprint prices and lower variable staff bonuses, CIMB said.

However, it prefers real estate investment trusts such as CapitaMall Trust for their retail exposure and stronger growth potential.

OCBC Investment Research also raised its target price for SPH to S$4.05 from S$3.99, citing expectations of stronger rental income from its new Clementi shopping mall.

"We continue to view SPH favorably as it continues to ramp up on its retail mall strategy, which would constitute a stable counterweight to its print business going forward," said OCBC in a report.

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0919 (0119 GMT)

(Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com)

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08:46 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Index futures lower

Singapore index futures fell 0.4 percent on Monday, indicating a lower opening for the benchmark Straits Times Index .

Asian shares eased on Monday as a surge in Spanish government bond yields renewed concerns about the Eurozone's sovereign debt crisis and undermined investor confidence in riskier assets.

(Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; Editing by Ed Davies; charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com)

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