Singapore shares close almost unchanged

THE Straits Times Index on Tuesday underwent a quiet session, settling for a 0.04 of a point loss at 2,880.65 in a relatively quiet session that saw two billion units worth S$1.2 billion traded. Overseas markets did not provide much direction - the Dow futures slipped marginally, Hong Kong dropped slightly and Europe opened weak. Excluding warrants, there were 191 rises versus 193 falls.

Of the total volume, S$836 million or 70 per cent came from trading in the 30 STI components. The average value per unit traded was S$0.60 and of the top 20 actives, 12 were priced below S$0.20.

For the second consecutive day, property developer OKH Global headed the actives list, this time rebounding S$0.014 to S$0.085 on volume of 287 million. The counter had crashed 80 per cent on Monday after shares pledged by its chief executive to various banks were force-sold.

In the offshore and marine (O&M) sector, shares of Keppel Corp ended unchanged at S$6.03 on volume of 5.4 million. OCBC Investment Research said since Keppel Land has been privatised, Keppel Corp should be viewed increasingly as a property play, as the O&M segment could see continued lack of earnings clarity with low oil prices.

However, because oil prices have rebounded, the broker said it is increasing its valuation for the O&M segment from 0.7x to 1.0x book. "We also raise our valuation for Keppel's property segment from 0.7x to 0.8x, resulting in a fair value estimate of S$5.07, implying a 0.9x P/B for the group. Maintain HOLD."

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