STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Index highest since Aug 2011, led by CapitaLand

Thu Jan 3, 2013 1:20am EST

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Singapore shares rose to their highest since August 2011 after encouraging economic data from China, led by CapitaLand Ltd and CapitaMalls Asia Ltd which have significant exposure to the world's second-largest economy.

The Straits Times Index was up 0.3 percent at 3,212.44, in line with the rise in MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan index of stocks.

Shares of CapitaLand, Southeast Asia's largest property developer, rose more than 2 percent on volume of nearly 12.5 million shares, 1.4 times the average full-day volume over the past 30 days.

CapitaMalls Asia Ltd, CapitaLand's unit which owns, develops and operates shopping malls, gained more than 4 percent with 10.3 million shares changing hands, 1.7 times the average full-day volume over the past 30 days.

CapitaLand said on Thursday it had overhauled its top management and organised its businesses into four main areas - CapitaLand Singapore, CapitaLand China, CapitaMalls Asia and The Ascott Ltd.

Shares of Olam International Ltd rose for the second straight session, helped by an increased risk appetite for commodity stocks in a bullish market and a shot of confidence from Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings.

Stocks linked to Myanmar surged on investor interest in the Southeast Asian country. Shares of AsiaMedic Ltd rocketed 36 percent, Aussino Group Ltd jumped 24 percent, while Interra Resources Ltd gained 6 percent.

1408 (0608 GMT)

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

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13:36 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Olam extends rise, nears pre-Muddy Waters attack level

Shares of Olam International Ltd rose for the second straight session, helped by an increased risk appetite for commodity stocks in a bullish market and a shot of confidence from Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings.

Shares in the commodity firm rose as much as 4.6 percent to S$1.72 and traded just below the level before Muddy Waters launched an attack on Nov. 19 on its prospects and accounting practices. The stock had fallen as much as 22 percent since the allegations.

Last week, Olam said Temasek had raised its stake in the company to 19 percent from around 16 percent before the Muddy Waters attack. Temasek is backing Olam's $1.2 billion bonds-with-warrants issue.

"We deem the move by Temasek as a potential confidence booster in the near-term. However, we continue to believe that there are still several medium- to long-term issues that need addressing," OCBC Investment Research said in a report.

In a statement on Wednesday, Olam said its net debt to equity before fair value adjustment stood at 1.81 times as of June 30, the lowest level since its listing in 2005. It said its board is "comfortable" with its current equity levels and gearing.

OCBC expects markets to watch Olam's acquisitions with greater scrutiny, especially those into non-related industries, as well as the execution of past acquisitions. It maintained its 'hold' rating and S$1.44 target price on Olam stock.

1326 (0526 GMT)

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