Sunday, July 16, 2006

SembCorp Marine target price raised to 3.90 sgd by UBS

UBS Investment Research has raised its price target for SembCorp Marine Ltd (SembMarine) to 3.90 sgd from 3.80, after the company bought SMOE Group and Sembawang Bethlehem Pte Ltd to from parent SembCorp Industries for 66.75 mln sgd. "These acquisitions will enable SembMarine to gain full control over the land its key shipyard Sembawang Shipyard sits on, as well as about additional 40 hectares of land. This should allow it to utilise and plan its capacity more effectively; estimated cost savings on rental alone is 130 mln sgd," UBS said in a note to clients. As a result of the savings, UBS said SembMarine's earnings in 2007 and 2008 will be boosted by about 3.0 pct. At 9.14 am, SembMarine was up 0.02 sgd or 0.63 pct at 3.20 with 500,000 shares changing hands.

Ascendas REIT fair value cut to 1.88 sgd by OCBC

OCBC Securities said it has cut its fair value for Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (Ascendas REIT) to 1.88 sgd per share from 2.18 as it doubts whether the industrial landlord can sustain the pace of its acquisitions Overnight, Ascendas REIT reported that distribution income rose 20 pct year-on-year to 40 mln sgd in the first quarter to June but distribution per unit (DPU) grew at a much slower rate of 9.0 pct to 0.0309 sgd. "As in previous years, growth was due to acquisitions but was moderated at the DPU level by higher operating and interest rate expenses and dilution from the issue of units. The key issue with Asecndas REIT is its ability to maintain its pace of acquisition," OCBC said in a note to clients. "Its assets acquisition has been running at an unsustainable annual compounded rate of over 65 pct. More importantly, with competition heating up, this could frustrate Ascendas REIT's plan to achieve target asset size of 5.0 bln sgd. We have thus revised down our asset target size from 5.0 bln sgd to 4.0 bln sgd," OCBC said. "At its present trading range, we do not see Ascendas REIT's valuation as attractive, and we thus maintain our 'hold' rating," it added. At 10.39 am, Ascendas REIT was down 0.01 sgd or 0.52 pct at 1.92 with 277, 000 shares traded.

FabChem China lower as hopes of bidding war fizzles

Explosives maker FabChem China Ltd was lower as hopes of a bidding war between Australia's Dyno Nobel and Orica for a substantial stake in FabChem, appear to have fizzled for now, dealers said. FabChem shares soared last week after the company said its major shareholders were in talks with two potential buyers. Dyno Nobel confirmed that it had begun preliminary discussions with the two main shareholders on acquiring a strategic holding, but that no agreement had been reached so far. While Orica's interest in FabChem was not confirmed, talks between Orica and FabChem shareholders reportedly ended unsuccessfully. "While markets are talking up the possibility of a bidding war for Fabchem, we think this is unlikely. Fabchem has reportedly ended discussions with the second party, Orica, which has no incentive to overpay for Fabchem," Kim Eng Securities said in a note. Kim Eng said it is recommending that shareholders "sell" FabChem at current levels following the recent run up. "While we continue to like FabChem, current valuations suggest that the counter has been overbought on speculative grounds," Kim Eng said, adding that its fiar value for FabChem is 0.79 sgd per share. FabChem was down 0.05 sgd or 7.58 pct at 0.61 sgd with 3.28 mln shares traded.

FabChem China lower as hopes of bidding war fizzles

Explosives maker FabChem China Ltd was lower as hopes of a bidding war between Australia's Dyno Nobel and Orica for a substantial stake in FabChem, appear to have fizzled for now, dealers said. FabChem shares soared last week after the company said its major shareholders were in talks with two potential buyers. Dyno Nobel confirmed that it had begun preliminary discussions with the two main shareholders on acquiring a strategic holding, but that no agreement had been reached so far. While Orica's interest in FabChem was not confirmed, talks between Orica and FabChem shareholders reportedly ended unsuccessfully. "While markets are talking up the possibility of a bidding war for Fabchem, we think this is unlikely. Fabchem has reportedly ended discussions with the second party, Orica, which has no incentive to overpay for Fabchem," Kim Eng Securities said in a note. Kim Eng said it is recommending that shareholders "sell" FabChem at current levels following the recent run up. "While we continue to like FabChem, current valuations suggest that the counter has been overbought on speculative grounds," Kim Eng said, adding that its fiar value for FabChem is 0.79 sgd per share. FabChem was down 0.05 sgd or 7.58 pct at 0.61 sgd with 3.28 mln shares traded.

Singapore Petroleum slides after Jeruk oil reserves estimate cut

Singapore Petroleum Co Ltd (SPC) was sharply lower after the estimated reserves for the Jeruk oil discovery in offshore east Java, Indonesia has been reduced following recent tests. Sampang PSC operator Santos Ltd said it will most likely trim the reserves estimate at Jeruk to below the 170 mln barrel forecast made in January 2005. Santos holds a 40.5 pct interest in the Sampang PSC., SPC has 36.0 pct, Cue Energy Ltd has 13.5 pct and PT Petrogas Oyong Jatim 10.0 pct. SPC was down 0.30 sgd or 5.61 pct at 5.05 with 6.85 mln shares traded.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

SPH downgraded to "neutral" by Merrill Lynch!

Merrill Lynch has downgraded its rating on Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) to "neutral" from "buy" after the media company reported weaker-than-expected earnings for its third quarter to May. Yesterday, SPH said its net profit in the three months to May rose 80.7 pct year-on-year to 174.6 mln sgd due to an exceptional gain from the writeback of impairment losses for its Paragon shopping mall. But Merrill Lynch said "excluding the 69 mln sgd exceptional gain, SPH's third quarter net profit came in 10 pct behind our estimate." "While we have anticipated weak display ad growth due to the absence of several ad campaigns this year, the 7.5 pct year-on-year decline was worse than expected," it said. Apart from the disappointing results, Merrill Lynch said investors who buy SPH shares for special cash returns may be frustrated by the management's statement that it will hold on to Paragon in the foreseeable future. At 9.12 am, SPH was flat at 4.08 sgd with 363,000 shares traded.

Sarin Tech downgraded to "sell" by DBS Vickers!

DBS Vickers said it has downgraded its rating on Israeli-based diamond processing equipment Sarin Technologies Ltd, to "fully-valued" from a "buy" after the company warned that its second quarter earnings slid year-on-year due to a slowdown in demand. The brokerage also cut its one-year price target for Sarin to 0.94 sgd per share from 1.24 sgd previously. "We expect the slowing trend to continue into the third quarter, with consumer demand still looking soft," DBS said. DBS said it has cut its 2006 net profit estimate for Sarin by 21 pct to 11.10 mln usd, with the 2007 estimate reduced by 27 pct to 13.20 mln usd. At 9.13 am, Sarin was down 0.03 sgd or 4.14 pct at 0.695 with 423,000 shares traded.

Sarin Tech downgraded to "sell" by UOB Kay Hian

UOB Kay Hian said it has downgraded its rating on Israeli-based diamond processing equipment Sarin Technologies Ltd from "buy" to "sell" with a one-year price target of 0.52 sgd per share after the company warned that its second quarter earnings had slipped due to a slowdown in demand for diamonds. "The slowdown currently being experienced is across all products, and the worst hit is India, Sarin's largest market," UOB said in a note to clients. "Management has now highlighted anecdotal evidence we have had that suggests there has been excess inventory built up since Christmas 2005 and Valentine's Day 2006," it said. "It is conceivable that price cuts may be used eventually to clear some of this excess inventory. Meanwhile, demand for Sarin's products will likely remain anaemic. In addition, gross margins are expected to be squeezed in the next few quarters," it added. At 10.45 am, Sarin was down 0.025 sgd or 3.45 pct at 0.70 with 1.09 mln shares traded.

Mediaring failed to take over P

MediaRing Ltd may extend losses after its failed bid to take over Pacific Internet Ltd (PacNet), dealers said. At the close of MediaRing's offer period yesterday, acceptances from PacNet shareholders represented only 33.8 pct of the issued shares in the company. MediaRing had made the condition that its offer for PacNet would proceed only if it got more than 50 pct of PacNet by the end of the offer period. On June 22, MediaRaing raised its offer price to 9.50 usd for each PacNet share that it did not already own after PacNet's board rejected its original offer of 8.25 usd. MediaRing said it will look at other merger and acquisition opportunities to expand its business. MediaRing closed down 0.03 sgd at 0.365 yesterday.

SATS "outperform" call by CIMB-GK

Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS) may edge up after CIMB-GK Research raised its rating on the stock to "outperform" from "neutral" in view of the potential strength of contributions to the company's earnings by its investments overseas. "While Singapore operations are set to be flat, earnings growth will be contributed [to] by existing joint ventures gaining traction in high-growth areas for air travel like China and India," CIMB-GK said in a note. SATS ended yesterday's session up 0.01 sgd at 2.11.

Thai Beverage Overweight Call by JP Morgan!

Thai Beverage Public Co Ltd may extend gains after JP Morgan started covering the company with an 'overweight' rating and a 12-month price target of 0.32 sgd. "Thai Beverage has steady, non-cyclical demand, dominant market share, hefty and stable margins and strong free cash flows," JP Morgan said in a note to clients. Thai Beverage closed up 0.015 sgd at 0.29 yesterday, its highest closing level since it listed on May 30. Its initial public offering price was 0.28 sgd.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Stock Upgraded: BH Global Marine target price of 0.425 by Wescomb!

BH Global Marine stock was higher on hopes that its earnings will grow steadily because of the greater activity in the offshore and marine sector, dealers said. In early trading, BH Global gained 0.005 sgd or 1.7 pct at 0.30, on volume of 955,000 shares. Westcomb Financial Group says it has a "buy" rating for the stock, with a target price of 0.425 sgd. "The group's close working relationship with customers in the buoyant marine and offshore sector augurs well for the group. It will continue to ride on the bright prospects of these sectors," Westcomb research head Chua Sock Chuang said in a note. Westcomb forecasts that BH Global's net profit will grow to 8.3 mln sgd this year from 6.8 mln sgd last year, and to 10.2 mln sgd next year.

Stock Downgraded: UTAC target price cut to 1.05 by Credit Suisse!

Credit Suisse says it has cut its target price for United Test & Assembly Center (UTAC) to 1.05 sgd from 1.26 sgd because it expects the chip testing and packaging company's earnings to have been weaker in the second quarter. It said that while UTAC stock has declined 20-25 pct from its peak and now offers attractive valuations, the company's near-term earnings outlook and weak market sentiment may continue to work against it. "A better time for entry will be in August, after the weak second-quarter result is out of the way, and there are clearer indications on the potential pick in the third and fourth quarter," the brokerage said in a note. Credit Suisse estimates that UTAC's net profit fell to 15 mln usd in the second quarter from 20.7 mln usd in the first. But it expects net profit to rise to 23 mln usd in the third quarter and to 25 mln usd in the fourth. At 9.46 am, UTAC was down 0.005 sgd or 0.63 pct to 0.795, on volume of 7. 56 mln shares.

Stock News: Vantage Corp rejected Mediaring's revised offer!

Vantage Corp, which owns 29 pct of Nasdaq-listed Pacific Internet (PacNet), says it has rejected the revised offer by Internet telephony service provider MediaRing for all the shares in PacNet that it does not already own. MediaRing raised its offer price to 9.50 usd per share from 8.25 usd after the original offer was deemed "financially inadequate" by PacNet's board. A Vantage Corp statement says: "The board is of the view that the intrinsic value of each share in PacNet is more than the revised offer." Vantage Corp said it would continue to look into alternatives to enhance shareholder value and improve the value of its investment in PacNet. MediaRing's offer will close on Monday.

Stock Upgraded: Tee International Ltd upgraded to buy by OCBC Securities

OCBC Securities has upgraded its rating on construction firm Tee International Ltd to "buy" from "hold", citing improved business prospects for the company. "We believe Tee may yet benefit through a greater market share in the rebuilding segment and margin improvement, as the two integrated resort projects (in Singapore) draw mechanical and electrical engineering contractors from existing pool," OCBC said in a client note. The brokerage estimates fair value for the stock at 0.17 sgd. It expects Tee International's net profit to grow to 1 mln sgd this year from 800,000 in 2005. For 2007, projected net income was raised to 1.5 mln sgd from 1 mln previously, on account of higher margins. Tee International last traded at 0.125 sgd yesterday.

Stock News: Keppel Corp won 260 mln sgd contracts!

Keppel Corp may be in focus after its unit Keppel Singmarine Ltd won 260 mln sgd worth of contracts to build two highly specialised vessels for LukOil-Kaliningradmorneft, a subsidiary of Russian oil giant OAO LukOil. Keppel will construct an auxiliary icebreaker vessel and a multipurpose ice-breaking supply vessel scheduled to be delivered between end-2007 and mid-2008. Unit Keppel Offshore and Marine has also signed an agreement with LukOil for further cooperation in potential newbuilding of offshore rigs, special purpose offshore facilities and vessels to service LukOil's offshore oil terminal vessels at Keppel O&M shipyards around the world. Keppel Corp closed down 0.20 sgd at 14.50 yesterday.

Stock News: Techcomp Holdings acquired a production plant for expansion!

Techcomp Holdings Ltd, a China-based manufacturer of medical laboratory instruments, may be active after it said it has acquired a production plant in Shanghai that will enable it to more than double its production capacity. Techcomp bought the first two floors of the building for 1.53 mln usd and has leased the remaining three floors with an option to purchase more floors by March 2007. "We are ramping up production capacity in anticipation of increased orders for scientific devices carrying our Techcomp brand name as well as more original design manufacturing and original equipment manufacturing orders," president Lo Yat Keung said. Techcomp last traded at 0.28 sgd on Wednesday.

Stock Upgraded: STATS upgraded to buy by UBS

STATS ChipPAC may rise after UBS Investment Research upgraded its rating on the stock to "buy" from "neutral", saying valuations turned attractive after recent declines. "We believe STATS ChipPAC is on track to meet its second-quarter revenue guidance," UBS said. It expects STATS ChipPAC's second-quarter revenue to rise 4.5 pct from the first quarter to 403.09 mln usd while operating margins are likely to hold steady with a modest positive bias. The brokerage also said it expects seasonal demand to boost revenue in the third quarter although visibility remains limited given uncertainty in end-demand. STATS ChipPAC ended yesterday's session up 0.01 sgd at 1.02.

Stock News: Pine Agritech secured orders worth 429 mln yuan!

Pine Agritech Ltd, a Chinese producer of soybean products, may still head higher after it secured new orders worth 429 mln yuan for its Tian Song brand health syrup, soy oligosaccharine syrup (SOS), from a new master distributor for the China market. Subsequently, it said the new distributor has committed to a minimum order of 700 mln yuan per year from 2007 until the master distribution rights expire in five years. "We have locked in significant sales orders for SOS over the next few years. Given that SOS is our highest margin product, the orders secured are expected to have a positive impact on the company's revenue and earnings in the second half of 2006," CEO Li Zhu Ping said. Pine Agritech closed up 0.09 sgd at 2.45 yesterday.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Stock Upgraded: SIA price target of 12.90 by DBS Vickers!

Singapore Airlines Ltd may continue to edge higher after DBS Vickers raised its price target for the stock to 12.90 sgd from 12. 70 previously, and its rating to "hold" from "fully valued". The brokerage increased its earnings forecast for the current year to March 2007 by 19 pct to 1.40 bln sgd, to reflect a net exceptional gain of about 222 mln sgd from the sale of the SIA building. Singapore Airlines closed up 0.10 sgd at 12.70 yesterday.

Stock News: Fabchem in talks with investors!

Explosives maker Fabchem China Ltd said its controlling shareholder is in talks with a potential investor interested in buying a stake in the company. "The parties are still involved in preliminary discussions and no agreement has been reached to-date," Fabchem said. It said the controlling shareholders have undertaken not to dispose or transfer any part of their direct and indirect interests in the company, on or before October 16, 2006. At 10.31 am, Fabchem was up 0.035 sgd or 5.60 pct at 0.66 with 4.94 mln shares changing hands.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Stock News: BH Global Marine optimistic on FY earnings!

BH Global Marine Ltd, a Singapore-based provider of marine electrical products, said it expects stronger earnings growth this year on the back of booming demand in the oil and gas industry. "Definitely we will be getting better results," BH Global director of strategic business planning Laurance Bong told XFN-Asia in an interview. Besides growing its revenues, the company is looking at cutting costs amid rising prices of raw materials, particularly copper. The effect of higher raw material costs was evident in BH Global's results last year when its net profit eased 1.0 pct to 6.83 mln sgd although its revenue rose 23.4 pct to 30.29 mln sgd. "We want to cut down costs through various constraints," Bong said. Bong said the company is not looking at potential mergers or acquisitions at the moment, rejecting recent market speculation that it may merge with Aqua-Terra, a marine hardware supplier. "We have not spoken to them," Bong said, adding though that the firm was "open to looking for strategic partners" Going forward, Bong said BH Global will continue to enjoy strong orders from key shipyard clients such as Keppel Corp and SembCorp Marine. At the same time, the company is looking to expand its presence in the Middle East and China, and venture into new markets such as India.

Stock Upgraded: China Sun with price target of 1.26 by Merrill Lynch!

Merrill Lynch said it has initiated coverage of China Sun Bio-chem Technology Group Co Ltd with a "buy" rating and a price target of 1.26 sgd per share as it expects strong earnings for China's top producer of modified starch. The brokerage expects China Sun's net profit to rise from 242 mln yuan last year to 304 mln yuan this year, 395 mln yuan next year and 471 mln yuan in 2008. "We forecast an earnings per share compounded annual growth rate of of 25 pct for 2006-2008 on the back of its newly doubled corn starch and modified starch capacities," Merrill Lynch said. "The stock has corrected from its high of 1.02 sgd and presents an excellent buying opportunity," it added. Apart from strong earnings from its core modified starch business, Merrill Lynch said China Sun's ethanol facility, which will start operations in October this year and become profitable next year, is another potential share price driver. The brokerage said it has not included in its price target, potential contributions from fuel ethanol and starch sweeteners. These two new could add a further 0.20 sgd to its price target, Merrill Lynch said. At 11.04 am, China Sun was up 0.085 sgd or 12.14 pct at 0.785 with 83.57 mln shares traded.

Stock Upgraded: Hiap Seng with fair price of 0.37 by Net Research!

Net Research said it has initiated coverage on Hiap Seng Engineering Ltd, with a "buy" rating and fair value of 0.37 sgd per share. Hiap Seng is a provider of mechanical engineering services comprising fabrication, installation and plant maintenance for the petroleum and petrochemical industries in Singapore, Asia Pacific and other regions. The research firm is also forecasting Hiap Seng's net profit to rise from 5.60 mln sgd in the year to March 2006 to 9.6 mln sgd in the year to March 2007 and 10.6 mln sgd in the year to March 2008. "We believe this forecast is reasonable as Hiap Seng's latest order book is already about 180 mln sgd," Net Research said, noting that more than 80 pct of the orders comes from oil-and-gas players like ExxonMobil, Shell and China National Offshore Oil Co. Net Research noted that Hiap Seng is also hoping to get a slice of the 3. 0 bln usd cracker plants that ExxonMobil and Shell are reportedly planning to build on Singapore's Jurong Island.

Stock Upgraded: Singapore Food Industries Ltd upgraded to "buy" by OCBC Investment Research!

Singapore Food Industries Ltd may rise after OCBC Investment Research raised its rating to "buy" from "hold" on belief the recent selldown in the stock was overdone. "We feel this sharp correction is overdone and unwarranted," OCBC said in a note to clients. "We see emerging value in the stock as a good dividend yield play." The brokerage said the company's new investments in Europe will underpin future growth. Singapore Food closed up 0.015 sgd at 0.940 yesterday.

Stock News: Boustead Singapore secured contracts worthed 25 mln!

Boustead Singapore Ltd may advance after it said that its unit Salcon Pte Ltd has secured three new contracts worth around 25 mln sgd. More than 50 pct of the value of these contracts is expected to be completed within the current financial year ending March 31, 2007, it said. Boustead was unchanged at 1.05 sgd at the close of trading yesterday.

Stock News: Pacofic Internet recosidered Mediaring's offer!

MediaRing Ltd may head higher after Pacific Internet Ltd said it is reconsidering the revised offer of the company, noting that the amended price of 9.50 usd per share is fair. MediaRing decided to raise its offer price for PacNet on June 22 after PacNet's board unanimously rejected its original 8.25 usd per share offer, saying it was "financially inadequate." PacNet's board of directors made two recommendations to its shareholders -- either to accept the offer if they take a short-term view (up to six months) of their investments in the company; or to reject it if they take a medium- to long-term view (one to five years) of their investments. PacNet's independent financial advisor KPMG Corporate Finance deemed that from a financial point of view, "the terms of the revised offer are fair." "The company agrees with KPMG's opinion that the offer price is fair," PacNet president and CEO Phey Teck Moh told a news briefing.
MediaRing closed down 0.010 sgd at 0.365 yesterday.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Stock News: City Dev may win bidding for site in sentosa!

City Developments Ltd may win the bidding for a hotel, commercial and condominium site on Sentosa island, the Business Times reported, citing unnamed sources. The company offered over 300 mln sgd for the 99-year leasehold site, outbidding Lippo Group, sources told the paper. The site, which can be developed with a maximum gross floor area of 718, 588 square feet, will have a 320-room hotel, a 236-unit residential condominium and 61,700 square feet of retail space, the source said. Both City Developments and Lippo had tapped Westin as partner for the hotel development, according to the report

Stock News: Asiapharm Grp Ltd on approval of new drug!

Chinese drug maker Asiapharm Group Ltd was higher after it obtained approval for SailiMai, a new drug for treating acute and chronic diarrhoea, dealers said. The drug, is being targeted at the domestic Chinese market, which is estimated to be worth 500 mln yuan, it said. "As part of the group's long-term strategy, SailiMai will allow AsiaPharm to expand its customer base through the prescription and OTC markets, while providing an additional revenue generator for the group," Asiapharm executive chairman Liu Dianbo said. "As the effectiveness of Smectite (key ingredient) is well-recognised in the international market, we believe there is vast potential in the global market for this exciting new formulation," he added. Asiapharm was up 0.035 sgd or 4.83 pct at 0.76 with 5.30 mln shares changing hands.

Stock Ugraded: Sino-Env Upgraded to Buy by DBS Vickers!

DBS Vickers says it has begun covering the stock of Sino-Environment, which specializes in making devices for the recovery and treatment of useful raw materials from industrial waste gas, with a "buy" rating and a one-year price target of 1.11 sgd per share. "This company is poised to benefit from the stricter environmental law enforcement and rising oil prices. Commanding a gross margin of 60 pct for each of their proprietary devices, Sino-Environment is doubling its capacity with its new plant to meet increasing demand," DBS said in a note. DBS said it expects Sino-Environment's net profit to rise 172 pct next year when the new plant becomes fully operational. At 10.03 am, Sino-Environment was up 0.055 sgd or 6.83 pct at 0.86, with 4.22 mln shares traded.

Stock Downgraded: Roly Int downgraded to hold by OCBC!

OCBC said it has cut its rating for Roly International to "hold" from "buy", with a fair value of 0.28 sgd, and lowered its estimate of earnings for the company for the year to next April. "We have marked down our net profit estimate for year to April 2007 to 10. 3 mln usd to reflect spillover restructuring costs and the challenging market conditions faced by Linmark," OCBC said in a note to clients. "Nevertheless, this still represents a 43 pct improvement over the net profit achieved in year to April 2006, and reflects expected improvement in its underlying cost structure," the brokerage said. Roly's net profit for the year to last April declined to 7.2 mln usd from 7.8 mln usd the year before, although its revenue more than doubled to 396 mln usd from 194.4 mln usd. The fall in earnings was due to a restructuring charge of 3 mln usd to scale down the cost structure of unit Linmark and the unit's one-off provisions for doubtful debts of 5.5 mln usd. But Roly's management expects an improvement in earnings in the year to next April because a number of exceptional charges taken in the last financial year are not expected to recur, OCBC said. At 10.46 am, Roly was down 0.02 sgd or 6.78 pct at 0.275, on volume of 20, 000 shares.

Stock News: Ban Joo profit warning!

Textile maker Ban Joo & Co was sharply lower after warning that it will report losses in the year to June 2006 due to asset impairment charges, dealers said. "The performance for the group, after taking into consideration provisions for impairment losses for discontinuing operations and trade receivables, is unlikely to be profitable," the company said in a statement. Ban Joo was down 0.005 sgd or 14.29 pct at 0.03 sgd with 34,000 shares changing hands.

Stock News: GES on hopes to be taken over!

GES International, a maker of point of sales terminals, extended its gains on hopes it will eventually be taken over even though the company said there are no merger and acquisition proposals on the table, dealers said. Kim Eng Securities analyst Gregory Yap said GES had exploratory talks with Venture Corp before the latter bought a stake in DMX Technologies in January this year. "I think the Venture interest is there," Yap said. But whether Venture eventually buys GES or not, Yap said he remains positive on GES given its strong earnings prospects. "Its a buy... A takeover deal is a bonus," he said, noting that GES is currently trading at an attractive prospective year to June 2007 price earnings ratio (PER) of 11 times. For a company that grows earnings by over 20 pct annually, Yap said such a PER is undemanding. GES was up 0.03 sgd or 2.91 pct at 1.06 with 5.18 mln shares changing hands, while Venture was up 0.10 sgd at 0.94 pct at 10.70 with 68,000 shares traded.

Stock News: Mapletree Logistics Trust Management Ltd agreed to buy warehouse for 13 mln sgd!

Mapletree Logistics Trust Management Ltd said unit Mapletree Logistics Trust has agreed to buy a warehouse in Singapore from Trivec Singapore Pte Ltd for 13.0 mln sgd. The deal has been structured as a sale and leaseback transaction, where the seven-story warehouse will be leased back to Trivec for five years, with an option to extend for another term of five years thereafter. The acquisition, which is earnings accretive, is expected to be completed by end-September and will be funded by debt, Mapletree said. The newly refurbished warehouse, which has a gross floor area of about 11, 202 sqm, is located within an industrial estate at Joo Seng Road.

Stock News: ST Engg secured 4 mln contract!

ST Engineering Ltd said its unit ST Electronics Ltd, through wholly-owned subsidiary ST Electronics (Info-Comm Systems) Pte Ltd, has secured a 4 mln sgd contract from Singapore Prison Service. Under the deal, ST Electronics will provide the network infrastructure for the new Changi Prison Complex Cluster B that should be completed by 2008.

Stock News: Asia Pacific Breweries formed joint venture with Jaipuria Beverages & Food Industries Pte Ltd

Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd (APB) said it has formed a joint venture company in India in partnership with Jaipuria Beverages & Food Industries Pte Ltd to build a new brewery there. The initial investment in the joint venture company called Pearl Breweries Pte Ltd (PBPL) will be 15 mln usd, out of which the equity contribution is estimated not to exceed 10 mln usd. PBPL, which is 67-pct controlled by APB and 33-pct owned by Jaipuria, will build a greenfield brewery that will have an initial brewing capacity of 250,000 hectolitres and is expected to be operational by end-2007. APB said it intends to fund its investment in the Indian brewery through a combination of internal resources and external borrowings. This JV is APB's second investment in India which follows its investment in Aurangabad Breweries Limited (AUBL) in May 2006.

Stock Upgraded: CSE Global target price raised to 1.3 by DBS Vickers!

CSE Global Ltd may continue to head higher after DBS Vickers raised its target price for the stock to 1.30 sgd from 1.20, after increasing its earnings estimates for the company. "The group is starting to reap the benefits in terms of revenue growth contribution following CSE's focus to acquire small companies that fit strategically," DBS said in a note to clients.

Stock News: China Enersave eye more projects!

China Enersave Ltd may edge higher after the company said it is eyeing more power generation projects in China and is looking at other possible markets in the region to boost earnings. "Power will contribute over 50 pct of our revenues in 2007," China EnerSave managing director and CEO Simon Koo told XFN-Asia in a recent interview. On Friday, the company announced a plan to place up to 406 mln new shares at 0.165 sgd each to fund a 51 pct stake in Yima Jinjiang Energy Comprehensive Utilisation Co Ltd, which owns and operates a 270-megawatt coal-fired power plant in China. China Enersave rose 0.010 sgd to close at 0.170 on Friday.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Stock News: Courage Marine sold vessel for 2.58 mln usd!

Shipping firm Courage Marine Group Ltd said its unit New Hope Marine SA has sold off its vessel, MV New Hope II, for scrap in Chittagong, Bangladesh for 2.59 mln usd. "The group will use the proceeds obtained for working capital and/or other acquisitions, depending on the market conditions and the opportunities available," it said in a disclosure to the Singapore Exchange.

Stock News: United fiber system secured 15 mln usd loan!

United Fiber System Ltd said it has secured a short-term loan facility of 15 mln usd for the operations of PT Kiani Kertas, an Indonesian pulp mill that the company is acquiring. It said the loan, obtained from French bank Natexis Banques Populaires, Hong Kong branch, will be used "to get the mill into full operational readiness" and as general working capital. "The financing will enable us to ramp up the pulp mill's operation right after the acquisition is completed," United Fiber chairman Sven Edstrom said. "The facility shows we are that close to completing the acquisition," he added.

Stocks News: Keppel Land joint venture with Magus Estates!

Property developer Keppel Land Ltd said it has formed a joint venture with Magus Estates and Hotels Pvt Ltd to buy a 25-acre site in Calcutta, which has been targeted for residential development, for 715 mln rupees. The joint venture, 74-pct owned by Keppel Land and 26 pct-owned by Magus, will buy the property from West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corp Ltd, it said. The company said it intends to develop the site into a high-rise condominium with about 1,670 homes by mid-2011. "Our entry into Kolkata (Calcutta) is an important milestone in Keppel Land's road map for India ... Including our two condominium projects in Bangalore, we will have a pipeline of about 4,500 quality homes to be released in India over the next three to four years to meet growing demand," Keppel Land director for regional investments Ang Wee Gee said in a statement. Meanwhile, Keppel Land said the acquisition of the residential site comes with an allocation of 13-acre IT park land, in which it will have a small stake.

Stock News: OCBC offer 16 sgd per share of Great Eastern Holdings!

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp said it is making an offer to buy the remaining stock in insurance firm Great Eastern Holdings Ltd (GEH) that it does not already hold, for 16.0 sgd per share. The bank currently has an 83 pct stake in GEH and will spend 1.28 bln sgd to buy the remaining 79.8 mln GEH shares. "Over the past two years, we have seen encouraging results from the enhanced cross-selling activities of GEH and OCBC Bank, and we would like to see more value coming to OCBC Bank's shareholders," OCBC chief executive David Conner said in a statement."Therefore, we believe that increasing our stake in GEH is a logical and appropriate strategic step to take," he said. "Our proposed offer will provide an opportunity for the remaining shareholders of GEH to realise their investments for a cash consideration at a premium over the market price of GEH shares, an opportunity otherwise not available given the low liquidity of the shares," Conner said.