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Singapore shares end higher on gains in oil, and HK, China markets


THE Straits Times Index on Tuesday jumped 36.68 points or 1.4 per cent to 2,644.58 in line with gains in Hong Kong, China, the Dow futures and a rise in oil to above US$30 per barrel. Turnover was a robust 1.1 billion units worth S$1.44 billion, with an advance-decline score of 262-132 excluding warrants.

The rise was led by heavyweights DBS, OCBC and Singtel, although UOB ended weaker. Offshore and marine (O&M) counter Ezra was the day's most active stock when it rose S$0.003 to S$0.052 on volume of 54.2 million.

Elsewhere in the O&M sector, SembCorp Marine (SMM) ended S$0.11 higher at S$1.57 on volume of S$8.6 million. The company on Monday reported a fourth quarter loss of S$537 million .

In its "sell" on SMM, KGI said SMM's core net profit was in line with expectations. "However, given the continuing capex cuts in the industry (20-30 per cent for 2016), we turn more cautious on revenue visibility and operating margins and thus slash our estimates by 25-35 per cent for our forecast period," said the broker. Its sell with S$1.11 target price was pegged to 1x adjusted FY16F price/book .

Elsewhere, SingPost surged S$0.07 to S$1.41 on volume of 15.5 million. Macquarie Equities Research (MER) in a Feb 11 report said it has initiated coverage of SingPost with an "outperform" rating and approximately 56 per cent potential upside based on a S$2.15 price target.

"The proof of the pudding in SingPost's transformation to an integrated e-commerce solutions firm is imminent in our view," said MER, adding that the postal services firm's overseas revenue has grown from 19 per cent in FY13 to 40 per cent in 1H16, with the e-commerce proportion rising from 24 to 29 per cent in the same period. MER expects it to rise to around 50 per cent by FY18.