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MSCI Singapore exclusions shave S$863m off market value

[SINGAPORE] Four Singaporean blue-chip stocks lost a combined market capitalisation of S$863 million on Friday amid record volumes after MSCI deleted them from its benchmark for the city-state's largest stocks.

Two of the four shares excluded from the MSCI Singapore Index - Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and Sembcorp Industries - became over-sold on a technical indicator Friday, while ComfortDelGro and SATS traded close to that territory, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Stock price declines in the companies excluded by MSCI were exacerbated as those firms face a "direct hit from the pandemic", Justin Tang, head of Asian research at United First Partners, an investment and advisory group that specialises in special situations.

MSCI announced the additions and deletions from its global standard indexes under its semi-annual index review on May 12. All changes would take place as of the close of May 29, it said in a statement.

Shares in SPH, which publishes The Business Times, slumped to their lowest closing level since 1992 on Friday, while those in Sembcorp Industries fell to their lowest since 2004 and ComfortDelGro ended at a five-week low.

Mapletree Logistics Trust, the sole addition to the MSCI's benchmark, dropped 2.4 per cent on Monday after closing at a record high in the previous trading session.

MSCI announced the additions and deletions from its global standard indexes under its semi-annual index review on May 12 and the changes took effect at the end of trading on May 29.

SPH was steady in early trading Monday, while ComfortDelGro was little changed as it traded without the right to a dividend. SATS shares were also little changed, while Sembcorp Industries rose 2.4 per cent.

BLOOMBERG

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