Singapore shares slipped to the lowest in more than two
months, weighed by Noble Group Ltd following reports
that its vice-chairman, Harry Banga, is selling up to 225
million shares in the commodities trader.
The Straits Times Index was down 0.6 percent at
2,989.16, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares
outside Japan was 0.3 percent higher.
Noble shares fell as much as 8.2 percent to S$1.07, the
lowest since Aug. 3. More than 287 million shares changed hands,
8.8 times the average full-day volume over the past 30 days.
Noble was the top traded stock by value in Singapore on
Banga is offering up to 225 million shares at a range of
S$1.10-S$1.12 each, a source with the knowledge of the plans
said on Monday.
"There's market talk that because vice-chairman Harry Banga
is selling shares, some people are reading it as uncertainty
about the company's outlook," said Lee Wen Ching, an analyst at
"But I think that individual decisions to buy or sell shares
is a personal decision and could be due to factors such as
retirement planning. So I don't see this sale as an indication
of weaker profits in the near term."
Last week, Noble said it swung to a net profit of $75
million from a net loss of $17.5 million a year earlier, but the
third-quarter earnings still came below analyst expectations.
Shares of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd fell as
much as 1.3 percent after it reported a 1.6 percent fall in
second-quarter net profit and flagged a drop in group revenue
this fiscal year due to its Australian unit Optus.
1147 (0347 GMT)
(Reporting by Eveline Danubrata in Singapore; Editing by Jijo
09:37 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Genting shares drop, brokers cut
Shares in Genting Singapore Plc fell to a 27-month
low after it posted weak third-quarter results, prompting
analysts to cut their target prices or downgrade ratings on the
By 0118 GMT, Genting Singapore shares were flat at S$1.235,
recovering from an intraday low of S$1.20. Since the start of
the year, they have fallen 18.5 percent, compared with a 12.9
percent gain in the Straits Times Index.
Genting Singapore, which owns one of Singapore's two
multi-billion-dollar casino complexes, said on Monday its
third-quarter core earnings fell 19 percent to S$303.2 million
from a year ago.
CIMB Research downgraded Genting Singapore to 'neutral' from
'outperform' and cut its target price to S$1.20 from S$1.60,
citing worse-than-expected quarterly earnings due to rising
costs and weak gaming revenue.
"We previously believed that the poor second-quarter results
were one-off but it does look like the business is going through
a difficult transition," said CIMB in a report.
The brokerage is cutting its earnings per share forecast for
Genting Singapore in 2012 by 15 percent, to reflect additional
pre-opening costs for the rest of Resorts World Sentosa's theme
RHB Research cut its target price on Genting Singapore to
S$1.15 from S$1.20 and maintained its 'underperform' rating,
citing a lower-than-expected EBITDA margin of 45.9 percent in
the third quarter and poor VIP win rate of 2.8 percent in the
same period, compared with 3.2 percent a year ago.
0923 (0123 GMT)