STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Index rises, lifted by palm oil shares
Singapore shares rose on Monday, led by palm oil stocks Golden Agri-Resources Ltd and Wilmar International Ltd after Indonesia cut export tax on crude palm oil and raised the proportion of biodiesel in fuel.
The Straits Times Index was up 0.3 percent, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed 0.6 percent.
Golden Agri shares surged as much as 8.6 percent with more than 191 million shares traded, 3.4 times the average full-day volume over the past 30 days. Wilmar shares jumped as much as 6.2 percent on a volume of more than 20 million shares, 3.8 times the average.
The stocks had been battered recently, in part due to concern about weak crude palm oil (CPO) prices. Both companies have sizeable plantations in Indonesia, the world's top palm oil producer.
Indonesia cut its CPO export tax to 9 percent for September from 10.5 percent in August. The country is also aiming to contain its current account deficit partly by lowering oil and gas imports.
CIMB Research said Indonesia's move to raise the proportion of biodiesel in fuel from 7.5 percent to 10 percent, while also making the blending of fuel mandatory, is a positive for the biodiesel industry in Indonesia and price of CPO.
CIMB estimated an increase of 1.26 million tonnes in Indonesia's consumption of CPO if the 10 percent blend is put in place. But it warned of challenges in implementation, such as pricing, enforcement and distribution.
Trading in China Minzhong Food Corp Ltd was halted after shares of the Singapore-listed Chinese vegetable processor plunged by 50 percent following accusations of irregularities by a research house with a short position in the company.