Singapore shares slipped by midday, snapping four straight
sessions of gains, as the deadline to reach a budget deal to
avoid a "fiscal cliff" in the United States closed in without an
By 0356 GMT, the Straits Times Index (STI) was down
0.8 percent at 3,167.78 points. The index has gained 20.6
percent since the start of the year, its best yearly rise since
2009, when it surged 64 percent. The STI also outperformed the
MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan's 12.6 percent rise
Singapore's key index was boosted by strong gains in
property companies. CapitaMalls Asia Ltd, the shopping
mall arm of CapitaLand Ltd, was the biggest gainer
this year, surging 73 percent. CapitaLand gained nearly 70
percent, while warehouse operator Global Logistic Properties Ltd
jumped 56 percent.
Property stocks outperformed in Singapore due to their
attractive valuations compared with their restate net asset
values. Property prices have also remained surprisingly
resilient despite government measures to cool the housing
market. The FT ST Real Estate Index surged 48
percent this year.
Real estate industrial trusts (REITs) listed in Singapore
also had a strong year, with the key index
jumping 37 percent as investors sought dividend stocks for their
Frasers Commercial Trust was the biggest gainer
among REITs, jumping 77.5 percent, while CapitaCommercial Trust
rose 60.2 percent.
U.S. President Barack Obama met both Democrat and Republican
lawmakers on Friday with just days left to reach a budget deal
to avert massive tax increases and spending cuts that could drag
the U.S. economy, the world's biggest, into recession.
Property company SC Global Developments Ltd fell
nearly 4 percent by midday, after its chairman and chief
executive officer said it would not raise his offer price to buy
the remaining stake in the developer.
1209 (0409 GMT)