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Singapore: Pennies in play in quiet session

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Stratech Systems Limited said that following the scheme of arrangement that became effective on April 1, shareholders will be accredited new shares in the share capital of Stratech Group Limited before 9am on Monday.

The closure of Hong Kong and most Western markets on Monday meant activity here ground to a virtual standstill, resulting in traders punting the second line to pass time.

In some cases they succeeded - there were decent percentage gains in some penny stocks such as Ellipsiz, Polaris and Vallianz. As for blue chips though, the absence of any real interest meant that the Straits Times Index barely budged throughout the day and ended 0.84 of a point lower at 3,452.91. Turnover at almost 2 billion units worth S$704.3 million was one of the lowest full-day totals this year and excluding warrants, there were 284 rises versus 161 falls.

In such a desperately boring environment, brokers' comments were understandably negative; one dealer said he should have known better than to come in to work.

For those who did turn up though, there was some action to be had in low-priced issues. The average value per unit traded was S$0.35, well below the S$1 average of most of the first quarter. All 20 of the day's most active counters were priced under S$0.50; of these, 18 cost less than S$0.20.

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