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STI rises on election news

THE Straits Times Index (STI) clawed back early losses to finish 5.23 points or 0.2 per cent higher at 2,634.92 on Tuesday, on the back of news that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has advised President Halimah Yacob to dissolve Parliament and issue the Writ of Election, paving the way for a General Election. 

About 1.57 billion securities worth S$1.5 billion changed hands on the Singapore Exchange on Tuesday. Gainers outnumbered losers 212 to 207.

Among index constituents, the largest gainer was Wilmar International, which rose 30 Singapore cents or 7.73 per cent to S$4.18, prompting queries from the bourse.

The agrifood group on Tuesday disclosed that its 99.99 per cent-owned subsidiary, Yihai Kerry Arawana Holdings, has submitted an updated prospectus to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange for its review and approval. The spin-off of its Chinese unit has often been cited by analysts as a catalyst for its stock price, even if Wilmar has continued to say that there is no assurance that the proposed listing will proceed.

Jardine Matheson was the biggest loser on the index, declining US$1.86 or 4.29 per cent to US$41.50. The volatile counter has lost 25 per cent year to date.

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The most active counter on the market was Oceanus Group, which closed flat at S$0.004. Close to 70 million shares changed hands.

The abalone producer last week said it had obtained approval for a time extension until March 1, 2021, to meet the financial-exit criteria to leave the SGX watch-list. It also said that looking at its operating cash flow generating activities and continuing credit facilities availed to the group, the company should be able to continue operating as a going concern.

Regional markets were mostly up on Tuesday. The Hang Seng rose 1.62 per cent; the Shanghai Composite added 0.18 per cent, while the Nikkei 225 rose 0.5 per cent. The KLCI, however, dipped 0.28 per cent.

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