STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Index up; SPH hits 5-1/2-yr high ahead of Q2 result

Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:34am EDT

Singapore shares rose on Thursday, with media and property company Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) rising to its highest since December 2007 ahead of the second quarter earnings on Friday.

The Straits Times index was 0.4 percent higher at 3,306.34 and the MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.7 percent.

SPH shares gained as much as 0.6 percent to S$4.68 on Thursday and have added 12.2 percent over the past month after the company said on March 10 it planned to list a real estate investment trust (REIT).

"Investors are looking for clarity on the REIT listing and waiting for a special dividend if REIT is announced," a trader said.

Brokers upgraded their ratings and target prices after the REIT announcement was made.

DBS Vickers upgraded SPH to 'buy' from 'hold' and raised its target price to S$4.79 from S$4.01.

"We believe asset value realisation will be a trigger for share price outperformance with the establishment of a REIT," DBS said in a note last month.

OCBC Investment Research upgraded the stock to 'buy' and raised its fair value to S$4.94 from S$4.48, saying the REIT listing is a "particularly attractive risk-reward proposition".

1212 (0412 GMT)

(teo.jionchun@thomsonreuters.com)(+6564035659)(Reuters Messaging: teo.jionchun.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)