STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-DBS downgrades Hi-P to 'hold'

Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:14am EDT

DBS Vickers downgraded Hi-P International Ltd to 'hold' from buy', as it lowered its net profit estimates for the second half and said it expects the elecronics component supplier to see further downgrades to consensus estimates.

By 0403 GMT, Hi-P shares were down 0.5 percent at S$0.93 and have jumped 53.7 percent so far this year, compared to a 23.6 percent rise in the FTSE ST Industrials Index.

Due to lower shipments, DBS said Hi-P's second half ramp-up may not be as strong as previously expected, and now estimates the company's second half net profit to be S$45 million, compared to its previous forecast of S$52 million.

Hi-P is likely to benefit from strong demand for its customer Apple's new product iPhone 5, but supply constraints of components such as in-cell touch panels and casings is likely to cap further rise in Hi-P's shares in the near term, DBS said.

1207 (0407 GMT) (Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; Editing by Sunil Nair; charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com)

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10:12 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-OCBC ups Ascendas REIT target price

OCBC Investment Research raised its target price for Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust, which owns industrial assets, to S$2.43 from S$2.28 and kept its 'hold' rating, to reflect upgrading works on its assets.

Ascendas REIT units were up 0.4 percent to S$2.49 by 0201 GMT. They have increased 36 percent in value since the start of the year, roughly in line with the FT ST Real Estate Industrial Trust Index's 35.8 percent gain.

Ascendas REIT said on Wednesday its second quarter distribution per unit grew by 4.4 percent year-on-year to 3.53 Singapore cents, helped by positive rental reversion of about 12.8 percent on average.

OCBC noted Ascendas REIT's management expects rents to continue improving. It signed new leases totalling 73,873 square metres of industrial space in the last quarter, while same-store portfolio occupancy improved to 96.6 percent from a year ago, OCBC said, indicating its portfolio continues to be resilient.

Ascendas REIT said it plans to begin upgrading works for two of its industrial properties in Singapore, which will help boost future rents.

1003 (0203 GMT) (Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier; charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com)

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9:31 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-CIMB, OCBC raise Keppel Land target price

Brokerages including CIMB Research raised their target prices for Singapore property developer Keppel Land to account for higher valuation of real estate investment trust Keppel REIT, but noted that sales of its Chinese properties slowed in the third quarter.

Keppel Land is the owner of Keppel REIT's manager. Keppel REIT units have jumped 50 percent so far this year.

CIMB raised its target price for Keppel Land to S$3.62 from S$3.43 and kept its 'neutral' rating, while OCBC Investment Research lifted its target price for the developer to S$3.49 from S$3.44 and maintained a 'hold'.

Keppel Land shares were up 1.5 percent at S$3.50, and have surged 57.7 percent since the start of the year, compared to the FTSE ST Mid Cap Index's 29 percent rise.

"Keppel Land's Q3 results appear poor as project deliveries in China have yet to come through. Meanwhile, launches have been deferred," said CIMB in a report.

It also said Keppel Land has pushed back certain launches of its China projects as it waits for better market conditions, and cited management as saying sales at its Tianjin Eco-City development in China had slowed after a strong take-up in 2011.

0920 (0120 GMT) (Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com; Editing by Jijo Jacob)