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Singapore shares rose for the second day in a row after encouraging manufacturing data from China, with the budget carrier Tiger Airways Holdings Ltd outperforming the market.
The Straits Times Index was up 0.3 percent at 3,241.82 points. The Singapore bourse has gained more than 2 percent since the start of the year.
Tiger shares rose as much as 2.7 percent with 4.4 million shares traded, 1.2 times the average full-day volume over the past 30 days.
Several brokers said Tiger is set for a turnaround after the airline reported a third-quarter net profit of S$2 million ($1.6 million), the first time in seven quarters it made money.
Shares of Keppel Corp Ltd, the world's largest oil rig builder, were up around 0.7 percent ahead of its fourth-quarter results, which are set to be announced after the market closes.
Shares of AusGroup rose as much as 3.1 percent after the company secured more fabrication work worth around A$20 million ($21.1 million).
"AusGroup announced another contract win yesterday, making it the third contract win in as many weeks since the start of January," DMG & Partners Securities said, adding that it continues to expect a good order win momentum.
(Reporting by Eveline Danubrata in Singapore; Editing by G.Ram Mohan; firstname.lastname@example.org; +65 6403 5669; email@example.com)
11:01 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Maybank, OCBC raise Keppel Land target price
Maybank Kim Eng raised its target price on Singapore property developer Keppel Land Ltd to S$4.78 from S$4.74 and maintained its 'buy' rating, citing "attractive" valuations.
Keppel Land shares were down 0.25 percent at S$4.05 on Thursday. The stock is little changed since the start of the year, lagging the gain of more than 2 percent in the Straits Times Index.
Keppel Land's management expects sales volume to fall after the latest round of property cooling measures in Singapore, but prices are likely to hold due to the low interest rate and the long-term prospects in the city-state, Maybank said.
Keppel Land's new Chief Executive Ang Wee Gee also suggested that developers with strong balance sheets like Keppel Land may even benefit if weaker companies were pressed to sell their assets at attractive prices, Maybank said.
Earlier this month, the Singapore government imposed a higher stamp duty on foreign buyers, a new levy on sellers of industrial property and a limit on loan sizes.
OCBC Investment Research upgraded Keppel Land to 'buy' from 'hold' and raised its target price to S$4.53 from S$3.49, saying the company is well positioned for the 2013 fiscal year.
Keppel Land has a strong balance sheet, significant exposure to the Chinese property sector and the potential to realise gains from the sale of an office building in Singapore, OCBC said.