STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Index slightly down; Yoma Strategic outperforms
Singapore shares traded slightly lower, but Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd surged to its highest in nearly a month after it joined a consortium to bid for one of the two mobile phone licenses that Myanmar is expected to award this year.
The Straits Times Index was down 0.3 percent while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan declined 1.3 percent.
Yoma shares rose as much as 13.4 percent to S$0.845, their highest since March 8. More than 56 million shares were traded, 5.9 times the average full-day volume over the past 30 days.
Yoma said late on Thursday it formed a consortium with the Digicel Group and Quantum Strategic Partners Ltd, part of the investment group led by George Soros.
"This development is non-core at the moment, but it is a substantial and attractive business which would fit nicely into Yoma's longterm plan to be a conglomerate," DBS Vickers said.
OCBC Investment Research however said Yoma's eventual effective stake in the consortium is still unclear.
OCBC said it also expects Yoma to face fierce competition from other contenders, including a Vodafone-China Mobile tie-up and major telcos like Singapore Telecommunications Ltd , for the licenses.
1203 (0403 GMT)