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Singapore shares end lower with STI slipping below 3,000

Tigerair and Singapore Airlines (SIA) planes at Changi Airport.

THE debut of Jumbo Group, the general offer by Singapore Airlines (SIA) for Tiger Airways and Neptune Orient Lines' (NOL) announcement that it is in takeover talks were on Monday the main features of an otherwise bland session in which prices drifted in low volume.

This was perhaps to be expected, given the public holiday on Tuesday and rising expectations of a US interest rate hike next month after Friday's stronger-than-expected US employment figures. As a result, the Straits Times Index (STI) drifted within a narrow band for most of the day before finishing a net 12.75 points weaker at 2,997.72.

At 1.2 billion units worth S$1 billion, turnover was slightly above previous days but still nonetheless weak. Of this, 196.3 million worth S$624 million came from trading in the 30 index members.

Seafood restaurant operator Jumbo enjoyed its first day as a listed entity when its shares, offered at S$0.25 each, finished at S$0.34 on volume of 77.8 million.

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Shares in budget airline Tigerair ended unchanged at S$0.41 on volume of 76.5 million. Parent SIA is offering S$0.41 per share and a further option for Tigerair shareholders to buy SIA shares if the offer goes unconditional.

NOL's announcement over the weekend that it is in preliminary takeover discussions with France's CMA CGM SA and Denmark's AP Moeller-Maersk A/S prompted a push on the stock to an intraday high of S$1.13 before it ended just S$0.01 higher at S$1.055 with 45 million traded.