Singapore shares edge lower, but head for biggest weekly gain in 21 months

Sept 20 Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:03am EDT

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Sept 20 (Reuters) - Singapore shares inched lower on Friday with Southeast Asia's biggest property developer CapitaLand Ltd leading the decline, though they were headed for the biggest weekly rise since the end of 2011.

The benchmark Straits Times Index dropped 0.4 percent to 3,241.9, off from a nearly seven-week high touched in the previous session.

The index was on course for a 3.7 percent gain on the week, the sharpest weekly rise in 21 months, buoyed by a surprise move by the U.S. Federal Reserve by sticking to its monetary stimulus.

Real estate investment trusts, or REITs, have risen more than 5 percent so far this week, headed for their sharpest weekly gain in more than four years, though an upward trend in interest rates could cap further gains, said CIMB analysts in a research note.

"For now, S-REITs look like a good trade, with those that de-rated the most in the last three months could also rebound the most," they wrote, but added that they prefer developers with a diversified structure and cheaper valuations.

UOL Group Ltd, CapitaLand and Global Logistic Properties Ltd remain top picks, CIMB said.

CapitaLand shares fell 2.5 percent to $3.16 after gaining more than 3 percent on Thursday on company announcement on issuance of convertible bonds worth up to S$700 million ($561.6 million).

Singapore Airlines Ltd eased more than 1 percent to S$10.35, off a 3-1/2-month high of S$10.54 hit on Thursday, after the company announced plans to launch a full-service airline with India's Tata Group.

Albedo Ltd shares fell 10.5 percent following a S$774 million ($620.9 million) takeover by Infinite Rewards Inc, prompting worry among existing investors that their holding might be diluted. Further driving Albedo's share prices down is their plan to issue new shares at S$0.0224 per share, way below their existing share price.

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