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Singapore shares fell to the lowest in nearly 2-1/2 weeks, largely in line with regional bourses, after uncertainty over Italy's elections raised fears of a resurgent eurozone debt crisis.
The Strait Times Index was down 0.5 percent at 3272.39, while the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.8 percent.
The fall in the Singapore market was broad-based and the biggest decliners included Global Logistic Properties Ltd (GLP) , which fell 6.9 percent, and gaming operator Genting Singapore PLC, which dropped 2.6 percent.
GLP shares dropped as much as 7.3 percent to S$2.55, the lowest since late November last year, after Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC cut its stake in the warehouse operator in a $1.25 billion sale.
Singapore unveiled a budget heavy on social spending on Monday and imposed new curbs on companies hiring foreign workers as the city-state tries to reduce its dependence on overseas labour and address a widening income gap.
"Overall, we see the Singapore Budget 2013 as a budget for the SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) and to also help lower the living expenses of the residents," OCBC Investment Research said.
DBS Vickers expects business costs to increase, specifically for industries with high labour content and reliance on foreign labour. Sectors which will continue to face margin squeeze are construction, services, manufacturing and marine, DBS said.
It maintains its preference for companies plugged to external growth, with low domestic cost or wage content.
Its stock picks are Ezion Holdings Ltd, Hutchison Port Holdings Trust, Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd, Neptune Orient Lines Ltd, CapitaMalls Asia Ltd, Perennial China Retail Trust and CapitaLand Ltd.
(Reporting by Teo Jion Chun; Editing by Jijo Jacob) (firstname.lastname@example.org)(+6564035659)(Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))
11:09 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-GLP shares plunge after GIC cuts stake
Shares of Global Logistic Properties fell to a three-month low after Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC cut its stake in the warehouse operator in a $1.25 billion sale.
GIC sold 596 million GLP shares at S$2.60 each, at the bottom of a S$2.60-$2.66 per share indicative range, according to a term sheet seen by Reuters.
GLP shares sunk as much as 7.3 percent to S$2.55 on Tuesday, the lowest since late November last year. More than 617 million shares were traded, 54 times the average full-day volume over the past 30 days.
GLP, which has businesses spread across China, Japan and Brazil, was the top traded stock by both value and volume in Singapore on Tuesday. The benchmark Straits Times Index was 0.6 percent lower.
But Roy Chen, an analyst at Phillip Securities, said the stake cut by GIC does not change his 'neutral' rating on GLP shares.
"GIC is just rebalancing its portfolio. The fundamentals of GLP are actually quite strong," Chen said, citing the recent recovery of China's economy and the company's projected development of logistic properties. "The lease activity is also still upbeat in China."