STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Noble Group up as brokers raise target prices

Thu Nov 1, 2012 11:00pm EDT

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Shares of Noble Group Ltd rose as much as 2.8 percent after analysts raised their target prices for the commodity trader on expectations of an earnings improvement.

By 0252 GMT, Noble shares were up 2.4 percent at S$1.295, and have climbed 14.6 percent so far this year, compared to the Straits Times Index's 15 percent rise.

CIMB Research raised its target price for Noble to S$1.61 from S$1.46 and kept its 'outperform' rating, and said its new sugar assets in Brazil should boost agriculture earnings and on improving industry outlook.

With sugar harvesting peaking in the third quarter, Noble could post near-record profits for the quarter, CIMB said.

It noted that agriculture businesses have recovered from a bout of dismal earnings with industry profits rebounding, and the U.S. drought has created opportunities for supply chain managers that are able to procure supplies amid crop scarcity and deliver grains where they are needed.

DBS Vickers also raised its target price for Noble to S$1.60 from S$1.30, and raised its 2012-2014 profit estimates by 10-12 percent, given the expansion into higher margin metals trading and prospects of an improving Chinese economy next year.

Noble will report its third-quarter results on Nov. 8.

1053 (0253 GMT) (Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; Editing by Anand Basu; Charmian.Kok.thomsonreuters.com)

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10:20 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Maybank upgrades DBS to buy

Maybank Kim Eng upgraded Southeast Asia's largest lender DBS Group Holdings Ltd to 'buy' from 'sell' and raised its target price to S$16.10 from S$13.10, citing a more stable outlook.

By 0211 GMT, DBS shares rose 0.7 percent to S$13.89, and have gained 20.6 percent since the start of the year, compared to the Straits Times Index's 15 percent increase.

DBS posted a 12 percent rise in third-quarter net profit on Thursday, beating expectations on a sharp drop in bad debt charges and on double-digit growth in income from its core lending business.

"Net interest margins are likely to stabilize moving forward in our view, while loan momentum will likely sustain, albeit at a slower pace," said Maybank in a report.

Although loan growth shrank 1 percent in the third quarter compared to the previous three months due to large number of maturities on its China trade financing loans, but Maybank noted the management expects a healthy replenishment of such loans.

The brokerage also said corporate loan demand in Singapore remains buoyant, supporting an annualised loan growth of 12 percent.

DBS' net interest margins should also stabilise going forward, said Maybank, as the bank could improve pricing in loans for small mid-sized enterprises and in Hong Kong.

1013 (0213 GMT) (Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; Editing by Anand Basu; Charmian.Kok.thomsonreuters.com)

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9:57 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-GLP up at record high on plan to set up Japan REIT

Shares of Global Logistic Properties Ltd, which owns warehouses in China and Japan, rose 2.3 percent to a record high after it said it plans to raise $1.3 billion by setting up a real estate investment trust in Japan.

At 0139 GMT, GLP was up 2.3 percent at S$2.72 and have gained nearly 55 percent since the start of the year, outperforming the Straits Times Index's 15 percent rise.

GLP said it will set up its first real estate investment trust with 30 properties valued at $2.6 billion and that the amount raised will be used mainly for projects in China and Japan.

CIMB Research raised its target price for GLP to S$2.55 from S$2.48, after lifting its restated net asset value estimate for the property developer to account for enhanced asset management activities and upside from deploying proceeds to China and Japan.

However, the brokerage kept its 'neutral' rating on GLP, as its shares have gained 52 percent so far this year, and it believes that near-term positives have been priced in.

0940 (0140 GMT)

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