STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Index slightly down; CapitaMalls Asia outperforms

Tue Sep 3, 2013 1:50am EDT

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Singapore shares eased slightly on Tuesday, but shopping mall operator CapitaMalls Asia Ltd outperformed the market, rising more than 4 percent.

The Straits Times Index was down 0.1 percent at 3,051.98, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.7 percent higher.

The biggest decliners include Jardine Cycle & Carriage Ltd and Hutchison Port Holdings Trust, which dropped more than 2 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

"With the FSSTI trading close to 3,000 again, we see more value at these levels while we were generally cautious closer to 3,400," said CIMB Research in a report.

CIMB said while fragile growth in emerging markets and rising interest rates were hammering the global equity markets, Singapore's market valuations were undemanding and the companies' balance sheets had little gearing.

The bulk of the local consumers are also not overstretched and the banks have large capital buffers, CIMB said. It has an 'overweight' rating on the consumer, capital goods and property sectors.

CapitaMalls shares rose as much as 4.5 percent to S$1.865 with nearly 12 million shares traded, 1.7 times the average full-day volume over the past 30 days.

The company, which has 83 operational malls in Singapore, China, Malaysia, Japan and India, said in a recent presentation that it plans to open seven new malls by 2014. It also aims to open 13 malls in 2015 and beyond.

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