STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Index rises, SingTel leads gainers

Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:08am EDT

Singapore shares rose on Thursday, with Southeast Asia's largest telecom operator Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (SingTel) outperforming the market.

The Straits Times index was up 0.7 percent at 3,270.54, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.1 percent higher.

SingTel shares jumped as much as 3.2 percent to S$3.59 after two straight sessions of losses. It is the most actively traded stock by value in the Singapore market on Thursday, with 17.1 million shares changing hands.

"Shareholders are looking at cash returns from a possible divestment of Optus Satellite by SingTel," said Carey Wong, an analyst at OCBC Investment Research. "After the realignment of priorities, SingTel is moving from a pure carrier to providing more value-added services."

Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd (OUE) gained 1 percent to a 1-1/2-month high of S$3.03.

On Wednesday, sources told Reuters that the property developer has picked Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and Standard Chartered Plc for its planned S$1 billion ($800 million) listing of a hospitality real estate investment trust (REIT) in the second half of the year.

OUE confirmed on Thursday that the company is in "preliminary discussions" with banks. The properties to be injected in the REIT, the pipeline assets of the REIT, size of the offering and timeframe are under review, OUE added.

1258 (0458 GMT)

To read OUE statement, click