Friday, February 6, 2015

News Highlights of Singapore

Shares opened higher in Singapore on Friday

SINGAPORE share prices opened higher on Friday with the Straits Times Index up 6.15 points to 3,412.73.
Volume was 56.9 million shares worth S$82.2 million.
Gainers outnumbered losers 96 to 46.


F J Benjamin Q2 FY15 profit rises to S$1.24m

RETAILER F J Benjamin posted a net profit of S$1.24 million for the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2014, up from S$586,000 in the corresponding quarter a year earlier.
This was despite revenue slipping 17 per cent to S$87.09 million, as the retail industry battled headwinds.
Meanwhile, earnings per share grew to 0.22 Singapore cent, up from 0.10 cent.
The bottom line was boosted in part by higher share of results of associates/joint ventures, which came in at S$853,000 versus S$151,000 previously.
FJ Benjamin said: "The increased volatility in the global economy, in particular softer growth in China, will continue to weigh down on Asia's economic outlook and affect consumer sentiment. In view of this, the group continues to focus on improving productivity through store rationalisation, managing inventory levels and capitalising on cost efficiencies."


Singapore's GIC buys over $1 billion stake in Nielsen

Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC has bought a 5 per cent stake in Nielsen NV, a leading provider of TV audience ratings data, for an undisclosed amount, according to a regulatory filing.
A report in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said the deal is valued at over US$800 million (S$1.1 billion).
GIC Private Ltd disclosed its holding of common stock in Nielsen, which has a market value of $16.7 billion, in a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing dated Feb 4.
Over the past year, GIC, ranked by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute as the world's eighth-largest fund with $320 billion of assets, has taken a series of stakes in businesses in both emerging and developed markets.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Singapore: Shares open lower on Thrusday

SINGAPORE share prices opened lower on Thursday with the Straits Times Index down 6.59 points to 3,410.98.

Volume was 48.5 million shares worth S$126.0 million.
Gainers outnumbered losers 74 to 54.

About 5-year fall of Singapore's dollar -

Singapore's dollar will slide about 3 per cent versus the greenback to the lowest since July 2010 after the city-state's central bank unexpectedly eased monetary policy.
The currency will slide to S$1.39 by year-end after the Monetary Authority of Singapore probably reduced the slope of its appreciation against a basket of currencies by a percentage point, according to the median estimates of 15 economists and strategists. The central bank, which uses the exchange rate as its main policy tool, changed its settings last week in an unscheduled announcement.
The local dollar was at S$1.3480 at 11 a.m. in Singapore. Royal Bank of Canada forecast it will tumble to S$1.48 by Dec 31, the most bearish projection, while Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd saw it little changed at S$1.35. The survey was carried out from Jan 30 to Feb 3.

The central bank has halved the slope of the policy band for the currency to 1 percent, according to the survey. The MAS said Jan 28 it will reduce the slope of the band, with no change to its width and the level at which it is centered. Singapore will keep a "modest and gradual appreciation" of the local dollar against a basket of currencies, the authority said.
The US dollar probably accounts for 21 per cent of the basket, the ringgit 13 per cent, the yuan 13 per cent, the euro 12 per cent and the yen 11 percent, according to the analysts' estimates.
Unanticipated central-bank actions in January helped boost JPMorgan Chase & Co's Global FX Volatility Index to a 19-month high of 11.68 on Jan 16, the day after the Swiss scrapped the franc's cap against the euro.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Singapore Vopak company about to start crude oil storage site in Malaysia

World's largest independent storage company Vopak will start operations at the first commercial crude oil tank farm in southeast Asia in March, a top company official said on Tuesday.

The facility in Malaysia "caters to a new and growing demand for this service, triggered by growing crude oil and petroleum products import flows into Asia and Australia," Vopak Asia's Division President Patrick van der Voort said in an e-mail.

Located in Pengerang, in the southern state of Johor, just across the Johor Strait from the Singapore trading hub, the site can hold 420,000 cubic metres of crude (2.6 million barrels) and also offers blending and distribution services, he said.

BP has leased more than half of the storage space from Vopak, while Total will use the remainder, industry sources familiar with the matter said.

The leases are likely for more than a year, the sources said, underscoring the strong interest from oil companies to capitalise on the so-called contango trading strategy in which traders store crude for sale in future months at higher prices.

Vopak and BP declined to comment on commercial activities. Total did not reply to an e-mail seeking comment.

In a contango market, cheap prompt barrels can be bought and held in tanks to sell at higher prices in the future. But onshore crude storage space is hard to come by in southeast Asia as most tanks are built for refineries, traders said.

In the absence of available storage, traders have already booked tankers sufficient to store at least 50 million barrels of oil at sea for the contango play.

"Land storage is cheaper than floating, but the problem is there is very limited storage capacity left in the market," a Singapore-based trader said.

The storage cost at the Pengerang terminal was likely on par with that for tankers as freight rates for Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) have increased, a second trader said.

The crude storage facilities are part of a joint venture terminal project between Vopak, Malaysia's Dialog Group and the state government of Johor. When completed, it will have a capacity of about 1.3 million cubic metres to store oil products in addition to crude.- Reuters

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Top traded counters of oil-related stocks on the Singapore Exchange were

Some 18.52 million shares of offshore oil and gas company Swiber changed hands on Tuesday, making it one of the top traded shares on the Singapore Exchange in terms of volume by late Tuesday morning.
Swiber shares climbed 6 per cent to trade at S$0.194 at about 11.20am. They opened at S$0.183 on Tuesday morning and were trading at a high of S$0.198.
Ezion Shares of Ezion Holdings were up 2.77 per cent and trading at S$1.30 at about 11.22am. Some 11.19 million shares have changed hands since they opened at S$1.28, one Singapore cent higher than Monday's closing price of S$1.27.
Keppel Corporation Keppel Corporation shares rose by 1.26 per cent to S$8.83 at about 11.24am. They opened three Singapore cents higher at S$8.75 on Tuesday morning. Some 3.94 million shares changed hands.
Sembcorp Marine
Shares of Sembcorp Marine were also up on Tuesday, trading 1.63 per cent higher at S$3.11 at about 11.27am. Some 3.73 million shares changed hands. The counter opened at S$3.10, up four Singapore cents from Monday's closing price of S$3.06.