February 10, 2014 / 5:15 AM / 4 years ago

Singapore stocks slip, SGX down after proposed market reforms

SINGAPORE, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Singapore shares opened the week a touch lower, underperforming other Asian markets with Singapore Exchange Ltd one of the biggest losers after the announcement of proposed reforms to the stock market.

The benchmark Straits Times index slipped 0.1 percent to 3,010.9 as of 0422 GMT on Monday, snapping two consecutive days of gains, while the rest of Asia made guarded gains despite data on Friday showing U.S. job creation slowed sharply over the past two months.

The MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3 percent.

Shares in Singapore Exchange fell 1.3 percent to an intra-day low of S$6.70, their lowest since Nov. 28, 2012. On Friday, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Singapore Exchange proposed new measures aimed at strengthening the securities market, such as setting minimum trading prices and shortening the settlement cycle from three to two days by 2016.

Brokers said that the changes, if implemented, could cause the bourse some short-term pain with a fall in trading volumes, although it should be good for the exchange in the long run.

“It will affect the liquidity a bit, but it should be at acceptable level. I think it’s a good compromise - reducing risk for investors without severe impact on the liquidity,” said Jimmy Ho, president of the Society of Remisiers of Singapore.

CapitaLand Ltd and Genting Singapore Plc outperformed the index. Their shares rose 2.2 percent to S$2.88 and 3.2 percent to S$1.44, respectively.

CapitaLand associate CapitaMall Trust released earnings on Monday, showing a 27.4 percent rise in its group net income.

Genting Singapore announced on Friday that it would develop a $2.2 billion casino resort in South Korea together with Chinese property developer Landing International Development.

Brokerage Nomura upgraded Genting Singapore to “buy” from “neutral”, with a target price of S$1.62.

“The Resorts World Jeju project would mark Genting’s entry into the rapidly expanding tourism industry in Korea,” Nomura said in its research note.

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