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Stocks to watch: Noble, property companies

COMMODITIES firm Noble Group's shares plunged 8 per cent last Friday after the company reported a shock US$240 million loss for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2014, largely due to an unexpected US$438 million write-off.

The commodities trader also faced further criticism on its accounting practices from Iceberg Research last week.

PROPERTY firms could react to the reduction of development charge (DC) rates - payable for enhancing the use of some sites or to build bigger projects on them - by 3.2 per cent on average for non-landed residential use for the period March 1 to Aug 31 this year.

This is the second consecutive drop and double the 1.6 per cent decline in the previous half-yearly revision, which took effect on Sept 1 last year.

The latest cut comes amid continued weakness in condominium and apartment prices, said market watchers.

THE Singapore Exchange (SGX) will have a new chief regulatory officer in Tan Boon Gin from June 15.

Mr Tan, who is currently director of the Commercial Affairs Department, was named to the job following the departure of Richard Teng on Feb 28.

Between March 1 and June 14, the position will be held by Yeo Lian Sim, special adviser to SGX and previously the chief risk and regulatory officer.