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Singapore: Noble in focus after short-seller's report

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There has to be a fair amount of envy among investors in the local market when comparing the performance of the Singapore market with that of Hong Kong.

Here, the Straits Times Index muddled through an uninspiring day, one of the main features being a declaration by short-seller Muddy Waters that it is now targeting Noble Group. Other than a S$0.05 or 5.5 per cent plunge in Noble's shares to S$0.86, the only other observation possible was that the bulk of volume done was in "micro-chips" or stocks that hover at the cheapest absolute prices possible. Turnover was 3 billion units - the highest unit volume this year - but worth just S$1.35 billion for an average of S$0.45.

The STI posted 0.38 of a point loss at 3,460.30 and over in HK, the Hang Seng Index, which shot up 4 per cent on Wednesday and on Thursday rocketed up by almost 7 per cent before finishing a nett 2.7 per cent higher.

Of course, Hong Kong's movements have for many months ceased to have an impact here, and in any event comparisons between the two markets are not always fair since the market there will always benefit from being at China's doorstep.

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This has been the case over the past few sessions - the huge rally due to hopes that Hong Kong's valuations will play catchup to the mainland's, with money from the mainland fuelling the charge.

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