STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Maybank cuts 2012 market EPS growth estimate

Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:44pm EDT

Maybank Kim Eng said at the end of the second-quarter corporate earnings season, it had trimmed its market earnings per share growth forecast for this year to 3.5 percent from 5 percent, largely due to cuts in estimates for Genting Singapore , Sembcorp Marine and Wilmar International .

Maybank's 2012 target for the Straits Times Index remained at 3,200 points, which implies an upside of 4.4 percent from current levels. On Thursday, the STI was up 0.5 percent at 3,063.42 points.

The broker said its key assumptions are for the shares of Singapore Telecommunications and banks to stay at current levels, while commodities firm Noble Group and property developers with China exposure such as CapitaLand and CapitaMalls Asia continue their upward momentum.

For banks, Maybank said it expects net interest margin compression to continue in the second half of 2012, though to a lesser degree than that seen in the second quarter, while 2012 loan growth expectations are for a high-single-digit growth versus the previous low-teens guidance.

The broker said Singapore telcos are struggling with a squeeze in margins, while high expectations for sustainable dividends are being challenged as yields become compressed and capital expenditure is expected to rise further.

While the outlook for Keppel Corp Ltd and Sembcorp Marine remained bright as they confirmed more orders from Brazilian company Sete Brasil, their valuations are not at bargain levels, Maybank said.

1122 (0322 GMT)

(Reporting by Heather Chen in Singapore; heather.chen@thomsonreuters.com)

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10:24 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Nam Cheong rises after winning sales contracts

Shares of Singapore-listed Nam Cheong Ltd rose as much as 2.7 percent after the offshore marine group won sales contracts for three vessels worth $43.8 million and DBS Vickers maintained its 'buy' rating on the stock.

In early trading, Nam Cheong shares were up 2.2 percent at S$0.187 with 4.8 million shares traded, 1.5 times the average full-day volume over the past 30 days. Nam Cheong was among the top 20 traded stocks by volume in the Singapore market.

The latest contracts are expected to contribute positively to its earnings for the financial years ending 2012 and 2013, Nam Cheong said, adding that its order book stood at around 912 million ringgit ($291.2 million).

Two anchor handling towing supply vessels were sold to repeat customers, while the sale of a platform supply vessel marks the penetration of a new offshore oil and gas market for Nam Cheong and expands its future geographic scope, DBS said.

"These sale contracts also further strengthen Nam Cheong's track record of being able to sell its built-to-stock vessels well ahead of completion," DBS said. It maintained its 'buy' rating and target price of S$0.24.

1015 (0215 GMT)

(Reporting by Eveline Danubrata in Singapore; eveline.danubrata@thomsonreuters.com)

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STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Nomura cuts SGX target to S$7.60

Nomura cut its target price on Singapore Exchange Ltd (SGX) to S$7.60 from S$9.40 and maintained its 'neutral' rating, saying that the bourse operator's sluggish revenue momentum is expected to continue.

SGX shares were unchanged on Thursday morning. The stock has risen 13.5 percent so far this year versus a 16 percent gain in the broader Straits Times Index.

Nomura said the drop in its target price was mainly to reflect lower expectations for SGX's securities average daily value traded (DVT) to S$1.3 billion ($1.04 billion) from S$2.0 billion. It added that DVT will have to recover above S$1.5 billion to support a re-rating.

But SGX is diversifying its revenue base in terms of products and geographies, Nomura said, adding that potential tie-ups with other bourses could generate upside to revenue.

0950 (0150 GMT)

(Reporting by Eveline Danubrata in Singapore; eveline.danubrata@thomsonreuters.com) ($1 = 1.2517 Singapore dollars) ($1 = 3.1315 Malaysian ringgits)