STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Maybank ups SIA Engineering target price

Thu May 24, 2012 10:41pm EDT

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Maybank Kim Eng raised its target price on airline maintenance and servicing company SIA Engineering Co Ltd to S$4.00 from S$3.60 and kept its "hold" rating, citing its healthy full-year earnings and attractive dividends.

Shares of SIA Engineering were nearly flat at S$3.99 and have gained about 16 percent so far this year.

Maybank said SIA's earnings growth should be steady, supported by healthy airline capacity growth forecasts and an increase in commercial aircraft traffic at Singapore's Changi Airport.

SIA Engineering reported a net profit of S$269 million for its fiscal year ended March 2012, a 4 percent increase from the previous year and was in line with Kim Eng's expectations.

For SIA Engineering's full-year results for 2012, click .

1006 (0206 GMT)

(Reporting by Leonard How in Singapore; leonard.how@thomsonreuters.com)

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09:32 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-CIMB prefers Noble to Olam

CIMB Research said it prefers commodity trading firm Noble Group to its peer Olam International Ltd due to its favourable earnings outlook.

Noble earlier this month posted a 46 percent fall in its first quarter net profit to $110.1 million.

Olam shares were up 0.9 percent to S$1.70 on Friday, but have dropped 20 percent since the start of the year. Noble gained 1.4 percent to S$1.075, but has lost 4.4 percent in 2012. The benchmark Straits Times Index gained 5 percent in the same period.

CIMB expects Noble's earnings to continue improving for the rest of the year, buoyed by its newly expanded sugar mills, which will contribute $200 million more in annual earnings at full capacity.

Noble's earnings from its sugar business will also grow at a faster pace in the second to fourth quarter as the harvest season begins, CIMB said.

It has an outperform rating on Noble with a target price of $1.42, and an outperform on Olam and a target price of S$2.61.

CIMB estimates Noble's core earnings per share to grow 81.8 percent for this year, compared to 14.5 percent for Olam.

For related story click

0919 (0119 GMT)

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

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8:42 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Index futures up 0.3 pct

Singapore index futures were up 0.3 percent, indicating the benchmark Straits Times Index is likely to rise.

Asian shares inched higher on Friday, helped by a slight uptick in U.S. shares overnight that encouraged investors to return cautiously to buy up bargains after recent slides, but weak global data and Europe's fiscal woes limited the gains.

To read a related story, click (Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com)

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