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Stocks to watch: S-Reits, Asian Pay Television Trust, Rex, SIIC Environment, Food Empire
INCOME-TAX and GST (Goods and Services Tax) concessions for Singapore's real estate investment trusts (Reits) will be extended for five more years, but stamp-duty concessions for the purchase of local properties will be allowed to lapse after March this year, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Monday.
Most of the industry flagged these as positive moves to keep the Singapore Reit market competitive relative to its Asian counterparts, but said the removal of the stamp-duty concession will increase the costs of acquiring local assets. This may consequently slow their pace of acquisitions and cause yields to dip.
Mapletree Industrial Trust, Viva Industrial Trust, Mapletree Commercial Trust, Frasers Centrepoint Trust, CapitaMall Trust and CapitaCommercial Trust are among Reits with wholly local assets.
Asian Pay Television Trust on Tuesday reported a 21.6 per cent drop in profit after income tax attributable to unitholders to S$16.3 million for its fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2014.
Total revenue rose 4 per cent to S$81.8 million for the quarter.
The board of directors of the trustee-manager declared a final distribution of 2.13 Singapore cents per unit for the quarter. The total distributions of 8.25 cents per unit for 2014 is consistent with the distribution guidance set out in its prospectus.
Catalist-listed Rex International on Tuesday said its jointly controlled entity, Lime Petroleum Norway, has signed a deal with Lundin Petroleum Norway to buy a 30 per cent stake in licence PL338C in the North Sea, Norway.
This comes after Rex on Monday said it has upped its stake in a Trinidad and Tobago asset where drilling has uncovered positive seismic data.
The firm acquired a 63.8 per cent working interest in the Cory Moruga Block for US$1.5 million in cash and S$200,000 in the working capital of Parex Resources (Trinidad), which holds the asset. The acquisition brings its total indirect interest in the onshore block to 83.8 per cent.
Water treatment firm SIIC Environment saw fourth-quarter earnings more than double to 65.9 million yuan (S$14.32 million), despite a lower revenue, thanks to a higher share of results from joint ventures and associates.
It posted revenue of 286 million yuan, down 34.5 per cent from the corresponding period in 2013, mainly due to less substantial completion of certain projects, and the divestment of its engineering, procurement and commissioning business in the third quarter.
Food Empire sank deeper into the red in Q4, as weak oil prices and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continued to take a toll on the group.
The group saw its losses for the three months ended Dec 31,2014, widen to US$12.1 million, from US$226,000 a year ago. Its revenue tumbled 22.3 per cent to US$57.6 million.
For the full year, the group recorded a net loss of US$13.2 million, down from a net profit of US$11.7 million in the 2013 financial year, due mainly to the impact of foreign-exchange losses in two of its key markets, Russia and Ukraine.