STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-SPH jumps to three-week high on REIT plan

Tue Jul 9, 2013 10:26pm EDT

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Shares in Singapore Press Holdings rose as much as 1.6 percent to a three-week high after the company gave more details about the planned listing of a real estate investment trust.

The media group plans to raise at least S$523 million ($408.45 million) by spinning off some of its property assets via the new SPH REIT, it said in a preliminary prospectus.

"We believe that such a spinoff could benefit SPH shareholders in the long term," Maybank Kim Eng analysts said in a research note, adding that the limited free float -- accounting for just 12.4 percent of the total outstanding units -- could help the initial listing go smoothly in a volatile market.

SPH shares traded at S$4.29, retreating from an intra-day high of S$4.33. Share price has risen more than 6 percent so far this year, beating the Straits Times Index's moderate 0.8 percent gain.

Though Maybank maintained its "buy" call on SPH, it cut the target price to S$4.52 from S$4.95 due to rising interest rates, and cautioned that lower-than-expected quarterly results, due next week, may put pressure on the stock in the short term.

Maybank expected the REIT's initial public offering process to end by August, slightly later than the original plan.

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