Singapore stocks end down 0.45 pct
by Tan Shih Ming
SINGAPORE, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) — Singapore shares closed 0.45 percent lower on Friday, as investors grew more confident that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates by the end of the year.
Investors wait for third quarter U.S. gross domestic product figures later on Friday after upbeat jobless claims, manufacturing and home sales data on Thursday strengthened the case for the Fed to raise rates by the year-end.
Singapore’s benchmark Straits Times Index fell 12.68 points to 2,816.26 points. Trading volume was 929 million shares worth 878 million Singapore dollars. Decliners outnumbered advancers 249 to 127, while 522 stocks did not move.
UOB fell 1.6 percent to 18.63 Singapore dollars. Its third-quarter earning of 791 million Singapore dollars was lower on quarter and on year, dented by higher provisions. Both specific and general provisions were higher, and these were largely related to the oil and gas as well as shipping industries. Its non-performing loan ratio rose to 1.6 percent from 1.4 percent in second quarter with increases also mainly arising from the oil and gas industry.
Singapore Post jumped 4.6 percent to 1.59 Singapore dollars. The Media Development Authority of Singapore has finally given Alibaba the go-ahead to increase its stake in Singapore Post for the second time from 10.2 percent to 14.4 percent. Alibaba’s further investment of 187.1 million Singapore dollars is expected to be completed in February 2017, subject to approval from shareholders and the Singapore Exchange for the new shares.
Meanwhile, Singapore Post also announced that Alibaba has completed its 86.2 million Singapore dollar investment for a 34 percent stake in subsidiary Quantium Solutions International (QSI). Singapore Post will hold the remaining 66 percent.
Among top gainers, Jardine Strategic rose 1.2 percent to 35 U.S. dollars, whereas Jardine Cycle and Carriage became one of the top losers by falling 2.2 percent to 42.35 Singapore dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 1.39 Singapore dollars)