Stocks to watch: Best World, Raffles Medical, Venture, Allied Tech, Chip Eng Seng

THE following companies saw new developments that may affect trading of their shares on Monday:

Best World: Best World International is hiring an independent reviewer to scrutinise its business and accounting practices. It had requested a trading halt last Monday after its shares fell 16.6 per cent following a BT report published that day titled, Sales of DR's Secret in China: Best World's best-kept secret? The report raised concerns over the challenges in tracking sales of the company's DR's Secret line of premium skincare products in China. In a statement on Saturday, the company said that it has conducted its business ethically and in compliance with applicable laws, but "is not responsible for the accounting and sales records of the franchisees, who are independent third parties". Trading in shares of Best World will resume on Monday.

Raffles Medical Group: Raffles Medical Group has posted a net profit of S$71.1 million for 2018, up 0.4 per cent from S$70.8 million for 2017 as a 7.8 per cent rise in Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) was offset by higher tax expense and additional depreciation from the recently completed Raffles Specialist Centre in Singapore. Raffles Medical Group shares fell one Singapore cent to S$1.11 last Friday before results were announced on Monday morning.

APTT: Asian Pay Television Trust (APTT) announced a distribution per unit (DPU) of 0.3 Singapore cent for its fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018, 81.5 per cent lower than 1.625 Singapore cents from the year-ago period. Total distribution for the quarter stood at S$4.3 million, down 81.5 per cent from S$23.3 million in the previous year. It expects to continue to pay 0.3 Singapore cent per unit quarterly through to 2020. The counter closed at S$0.133 on Feb 22, up 0.1 Singapore cent.

Sarine Technologies: Sarine Technologies has recorded a fourth quarter net profit of US$93,000, down 84.8 per cent from US$613,000 the year before, the diamond technologies company said in a regulatory filing on Monday before the market opened. This was due to due to weak industry conditions and sentiment, resulting in lower capital equipment sales and reduced recurring revenues. Shares for Sarine Technologies closed at S$0.405 apiece on Friday.

Dasin Retail Trust: Dasin Retail Trust, which holds four malls in Zhongshan city in China's Guangdong province, on Sunday posted its distribution per unit (DPU) for its fourth quarter that slightly beat its forecast for the quarter by 0.9 per cent. DPU for the three months ended Dec 31, 2018 stood at 1.83 Singapore cents, up from a projected 1.81 Singapore cents. This DPU takes into account a "distribution waiver", through which major unitholders - Aqua Wealth Holdings Limited and Bounty Way - have waived a portion of their entitlement to distributions from Dasin Retail Trust. The counter last traded at S$0.88 apiece on Friday.

Avarga: Avarga Ltd, which makes paper, swung into a net loss in the fourth quarter from a year ago, reflected in part higher forex losses. Net loss for the three months ended Dec 31, 2018 stood at S$3.78 million, reversing from a restated net profit of S$465,000 posted the same period a year ago, it posted on Saturday in a regulatory filing. The counter last traded at S$0.205 on Friday.

Venture Corp: Venture Corp's net profit fell 24.7 per cent to S$107.7 million in the fourth quarter, on less research and development work undertaken for customers compared to the same period a year ago. Widening the gap was the absence of a one-off gain of S$11.3 million from Venture's disposal of its stake in Fischer Tech in 2017. Revenue in the three months ended Dec 31 was S$905.9 million, down 16.6 per cent from the same period a year earlier. The counter closed three Singapore cents or 0.19 per cent lower at S$16.12 on Friday before results were announced after market close.

Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail Trust (LMIRT): LMIRT's fourth-quarter distribution per unit (DPU) was down amid what the manager called "challenging conditions", in results out on Friday. It will pay 0.3 Singapore cent per unit for the three months to Dec 31, 2018, against 0.79 Singapore cent the year before. The trust's full-year DPU is 2.05 Singapore cents, down from 3.44 Singapore cents before. The manager blamed a weaker rupiah, higher income tax costs and a higher realised currency loss. LMIRT units closed up by half a Singapore cent, or 2.22 per cent, to S$0.23, before the results were out.

Allied Technologies: The chief financial officer of Allied Technologies raised concerns with the company's auditors and sponsor on his way out of the door, according to a new bourse filing from the board. After he quit, Andrew Wong Hon Siong flagged potential issues related to the classification of expenses, as well as documentation processes and an audit of Allied Tech's Asia Box Office unit, the board said. Allied Tech shed 0.1 Singapore cent, or 7.14 per cent, to 1.3 Singapore cents, before the latest news.

Chip Eng Seng Corp: Construction group Chip Eng Seng Corp more than doubled its profits in the fourth quarter, on the back of both revenue growth and heftier contributions from associates. Net profit jumped by 102.4 per cent to S$26.6 million for the three months to Dec 31, 2018, up from S$13.1 million the previous year, according to results released on Friday. Chip Eng Seng added half a Singapore cent, or 0.69 per cent, to S$0.725, before the announcement.

Halcyon Agri Corp: Japanese trading giant Itochu Corp will invest in mainboard-listed rubber dealer Halcyon Agri Corp's digital marketplace subsidiary, the Halcyon board said on Friday. The subsidiary, HeveaConnect, has agreed to a placement of ordinary shares to Itochu, it said. Principal terms of the share subscription "are being finalised and will be announced in due course", the board added. Halcyon closed down by S$0.015, or 3.23 per cent, to S$0.45, before the announcement.


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