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Singapore shares end higher as STI gains 1.5% in line with Wall St, DBS's results

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Wall Street's jump to a new all-time high on Friday and DBS's better-than-expected second quarter profit helped propel the Straits Times Index up 42.61 points or 1.5 per cent to 2,870.78, albeit in mediocre, pre-holiday volume of 938 million units worth S$1.03 billion.

Singtel led the way with a S$0.13 surge to S$4.20 on volume of 29 million, a rise that added 12 points to the index. Gains in the three banks added another 15 points while the Jardine group's contribution via rises in Hongkong Land and Jardine Cycle & Carriage was about five points. Excluding warrants, the broad market's advance-decline score was a much more mixed 226-186 than the index's rise would indicate.

Before trading opened at 9am DBS released its latest figures - a 6 per cent drop in net profit for the quarter ended June 30 to S$1.05 billion largely because of a one-off provision of S$150 million because of the bankruptcy of offshore and marine (O&M) company Swiber Holdings.

"Asset quality continued to be sound. While the non-performing rate rose to 1.1 per cent, allowance coverage was comfortable at 113 per cent and at 226 per cent if collateral was considered," said DBS. "Excluding the allowances for Swiber, total allowances were 58 per cent higher than a year ago and 27 per cent higher than the previous quarter."

The early feedback from brokers was positive as there had been worries over the bank's Swiber exposure. As a result, DBS finished S$0.21 higher at S$15.04 on volume of seven million, helping bolster sentiment in a market that had been battered last week by Swiber's problems.