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Trading halts: Keppel Corp, Ascott Reit, A-HTrust

The following companies requested for trading halts on Monday morning before the market opened, pending the release of announcements: 

Keppel Corp: Keppel Corp last week posted a 30 per cent fall in third-quarter net profit to S$159 million, from a restated S$227 million a year ago, led by the absence of gains from divestment of a commercial development in Beijing and higher net interest expense. The mainboard-listed company also announced last Friday that it is adding three new independent directors to its board. Shares in Keppel Corp closed at S$5.84 on Friday, down 2 per cent, or 12 Singapore cents. 

Ascott Residence Reit (Ascott Reit): Ascott Reit has requested for a trading halt pending the release of announcements pursuant to its extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to be held at 10am today, and its scheme meeting at 11am on the same day. Among other things, Ascott Reit's unitholders must first vote in favour of the merger of Ascott Reit and Ascendas Hospitality (A-HTrust) for the proposed union to go through. The merger will propel Ascott Reit, Singapore's first and biggest hospitality trust, with a S$5.7 billion in total asset value, to become the largest hospitality trust in Asia Pacific and the eighth largest globally with a combined asset value of S$7.6 billion. Ascott Reit units closed at S$1.37 on Friday, down 0.7 per cent, or one Singapore cent. 

Ascendas Hospitality Trust (A-HTrust): A-HTrust has also requested for a trading halt pending the release of announcements pursuant to its EGM held at 2.30pm today, as well as its scheme meeting at 3.30pm. If Ascott Reit fails to get unitholders' approval, then A-HTrust's EGM becomes irrelevant. But if Ascott Reit's unitholders approve the resolutions, A-HTrust can then proceed with its EGM to seek its shareholders' approval on the resolutions related to the proposed transaction, which will see A-HTrust delisted if successful. The counter closed flat at S$1.13 on Friday. 

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