May 27, 2014 / 5:22 AM / in 4 years

Olam leads losses as Singapore shares drop

SINGAPORE, May 27 (Reuters) - Singapore shares eased on Tuesday, tracking losses in regional markets, led by Olam International Ltd whose shares fell after a buyout offer from a Temasek-led group expired.

Olam shares fell 4.5 percent to an intra-day low of S$2.13. The losses led the Singapore index lower, with the benchmark Straits Times Index snapping three straight sessions of gains to fall 0.2 percent to 3,276.11.

The drop followed similar declines in regional markets, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 0.2 percent.

State investor Temasek Holdings made an offer to buy all of Olam’s shares in March, in what analysts said was a bid to take the company private. After the announcement, Olam shares shot up 11.8 percent to S$2.23, matching Temasek’s offer price.

That offer has now expired, with Temasek controlling around 80 percent of the company.

OCBC, which has a “sell” rating on the stock with a target price of S$1.87, said it did not expect the current share price to be supported around current levels with the expiry of the offer.

Bucking the trend, shares of Noble Group Ltd rose as much as 2.3 percent to hit a 1-1/2-year high of S$1.35, stretching gains into a third straight day.

Among small caps, shares of oil production company RH Petrogas Ltd soared as much as 9.6 percent to hit a near 5-year high. The stock rose as much as 11 percent last Tuesday, prompting a query on trading activity from the Singapore bourse.

In response to the query, the company said its controlling shareholders had been approached by an investor for a possible takeover of shares in RH Petrogas, though it cautioned that no formal offer had been made. (Reporting by Andrew Toh; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)

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