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Stocks to watch: DBS, Jardine C&C, EHT, Venture, ST Engineering, CapitaLand, UIC, Metro

THE following companies saw new developments that may affect trading of their securities on Monday:

DBS: South-east Asia’s largest bank's net profit for its third quarter climbed 15 per cent, boosted by loan growth, record fee income and higher trading gains, it said on Monday. Net profit for the three months ended Sept 30 stood at S$1.63 billion, up from S$1.41 billion for the year-ago period; while annualised earnings per share came in at S$2.50 for the quarter, up 15.7 per cent from S$2.16 a year ago. The bank's earnings was higher than the S$1.57 billion consensus forecast in a Refinitiv survey of five analysts. The counter closed at S$26.61 on Friday, down five cents or 0.2 per cent.

Jardine Cycle & Carriage: The regional auto dealer looks to privatise its Malaysian arm Cycle & Carriage Bintang Berhad (CCB) for RM90.6 million (S$29.8 million), or RM2.20 per share, the firm said in a bourse filing on Monday. Jardine C&C currently holds about 59.1 per cent of Bursa Malaysia-listed CCB, whose shares were down 3 per cent or four sens to RM1.29 on Friday. Jardine C&C shares closed down S$0.32 or 1 per cent to S$32.27 on Friday.

Eagle Hospitality Trust (EHT): EHT on Sunday night said it is still "premature" to appoint its own expert to separately evaluate and report on the costs of the maintenance of the Queen Mary floating hotel at this stage. This comes as the City of Long Beach, where the retired cruise ship is docked, has commissioned a local engineering firm to conduct a peer review of the monthly inspection reports of the ship by independent engineer Edward Pribonic. However, EHT's board will “consider all options” depending on the outcome of the City’s review of Urban Commons' proposal for critical repairs to the ship. Stapled securities of EHT closed at 45.5 US cents on Friday, down 0.5 cent. 

Venture Corp: The electronics manufacturing services firm delivered a 5.5 per cent rise in net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30, despite the headwinds from the US-China trade war, Brexit and currency volatility. Net profit rose to S$85.2 million from S$80.8 million the year before, with the company crediting the performance to its efforts to drive up productivity and operational efficiency. Venture shares closed up 10 Singapore cents or 0.61 per cent to S$16.60 on Friday before its results were announced.

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ST Engineering: The mainboard-listed integrated engineering group on Monday posted a 3.4 per cent rise in net profit to S$139.1 million for its third quarter ended Sept 30, from S$134.6 million a year ago. This was on the back of higher revenue for all sectors, and rises in net profits for aerospace and others. If not for the arbitration outcome for the Hornbeck Offshore Services claim, net profit would have been 12 per cent higher year-on-year at S$150.3 million, it said. Shares of ST Engineering closed at S$4.12 on Friday, down one Singapore cent or 0.2 per cent, before the results were announced.

CapitaLand: The mainboard-listed blue-chip developer on Friday said it sold a serviced residence in Hong Kong for HK$581.8 million (S$101 million) to an unnamed third party. CapitaLand said that it has divested fully from a unit that owns Citadines Mercer Hong Kong in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, in line with a strategy to rejig the property portfolio. The counter shed S$0.02, or 0.54 per cent, to S$3.71, before the announcement.

United Industrial Corp: The mainboard-listed developer said on Friday that it could take a year to figure out how to increase income from the consolidated Marina Mandarin hotel and shopping complex, even as third-quarter earnings slipped. Net profit for the three months to Sept 30 fell by 13.1 per cent year on year to S$52.9 million, while revenue grew by 28 per cent to S$194.4 million. The counter closed flat at S$2.85, before the results came out.

Asian Pay Television Trust (APTT): The pay TV firm declared an ordinary interim distribution per unit (DPU) of 0.3 Singapore cent for its third quarter, versus 1.625 cents a year ago, to be paid on Dec 24. EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) for the quarter ended Sept 30 was down 12.1 per cent to S$43 million from S$48.9 million as the company continued to cite challenging market conditions in Taiwan. APTT units closed unchanged at S$0.165 on Friday.

Metro Holdings: The mainboard-listed department store operator, which also invests in real estate, has re-entered Australia with plans to take a minority stake in a property portfolio for A$95.8 million (S$89.5 million), under a joint venture agreement disclosed on Friday. Metro will take a 20 per cent interest in the 14 freehold properties by subscribing for units in three property trusts, while regional property group Sim Lian will own the rest of the portfolio. Metro closed up by half a Singapore cent, or 0.53 per cent, to S$0.945, before the news.

Hiap Hoe: Lower sales of development properties and higher expenses resulted in an 82 per cent dive in net profit for Hiap Hoe in the third quarter ended Sept 30, the property developer announced on Friday. Net profit was S$114,000 compared with S$633,000 a year ago, although Q3 revenue shrank 16.3 per cent to S$35.3 million from S$42.1 million. Hiap Hoe shares closed unchanged at S$0.78 on Friday before results were announced.

Aspial Corp: Fewer settlements at the Australia 108 mega project in Melbourne have put a dent in the leveraged property developer's third-quarter revenue, even as it counts on fresh cash from handovers to improve its debt profile. Aspial, which also sells jewellery, posted a net profit of S$5.7 million in the three months ended Sept 30, down 69 per cent from the same period a year earlier. Revenue fell 60 per cent to S$138.7 million. Aspial shares closed flat at S$0.154 on Friday after results were released.

ISDN Holdings: The group on Friday posted a 25.5 per cent fall in net profit to S$1.8 million for the third quarter ended Sept 30, down from S$2.4 million a year ago. Revenue shrank 5.8 per cent to S$64.7 million, mainly due to the general economic slowdown arising from global trade tensions as well as a depreciation in the Chinese yuan against the Singapore dollar, which is ISDN's reporting currency. ISDN shares closed unchanged at S$0.225 on Friday before results were announced.

Yoma Strategic Holdings: The group on Friday flagged an overall loss for the second quarter ended Sept 30, as it will take a fair value loss of approximately US$32 million in its plans to dispose of an investment in China. Citing its intention to recycle capital from non-core assets into more attractive opportunities in Myanmar, as well as macroeconomic conditions and the outlook of China's retail sector, the group has initiated on-going discussions to dispose of its investment in The Grand Central Shopping Mall in Dalian, China. The counter closed flat at  S$0.325 on Friday before the announcement was made. 

PACC Offshore Services Holdings: The offshore and marine services provider has named Provenance Capital the independent financial adviser to the independent directors in the buy-out offer from Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok’s Kuok group of companies. The board added in a bourse filing on Friday that Provenance Capital’s advice and the recommendation on the offer "will be sent to shareholders of the company in due course". The counter closed up on Friday by half a Singapore cent, or 2.38 per cent, at the offer price of S$0.215, before the latest announcement.

Far East Orchard: The group has acquired two freehold student accommodation properties in Leeds and Sheffield, United Kingdom, with a total of 974 beds for £66.5 million (about S$115.7 million). Together with the 622 beds in Bristol and Liverpool acquired in March this year, Far East Orchard now has a portfolio of 3,260 purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) beds across 11 properties in the UK - surpassing the group’s target to grow its PBSA portfolio to 3,000 beds by 2023. The counter closed flat at S$1.16 on Friday. 

TEE International: The engineering group's independent external auditor, Deloitte & Touche, has issued a disclaimer of opinion on the group's financial statements for the year ended May 31, 2019, saying it has not been able to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to provide a basis for an audit opinion on the financial statements. This was over certain transactions totalling S$3.75 million paid to TEE International's former group chief executive and managing director, Phua Chian Kin, and Oscar Investment, a British Virgin Islands-incorporated company fully owned by Mr Phua. The counter closed at S$0.051 on Friday, down 0.1 Singapore cent or 1.9 per cent. 

Hatten Land: The Malaysian property developer's independent auditor, Ernst & Young, has made a disclaimer of opinion on Hatten's financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2019. While Hatten's directors have prepared the financial statements on a going concern basis based on the assumptions disclosed in the financial statements, Ernst & Young highlighted conditions that have given rise to material uncertainties on the group's ability to continue as a going concern. Hatten Land shares closed at S$0.097 on Friday, down 0.1 cent or 1.0 per cent.

Yeo Hiap Seng: The mainboard-listed drinks maker saw a surge in third-quarter earnings on the back of narrower losses at associates and joint ventures, as well as the absence of fair-value losses on equity investments recognised in the year-ago period. Net profit swelled from S$95,000 to S$2.76 million for the three months to Sept 30, according to results released on Friday, as revenue rose by 9.6 per cent to S$93.8 million on higher sales in Singapore, Cambodia, China and Europe. Yeo Hiap Seng shares closed flat at S$0.90, before the results were announced.

AsiaPhos: The Catalist-listed Chinese phosphate miner which earlier this year saw a wholly owned subsidiary slapped by former employees’ claims for severance pay, said in a bourse filing on Friday that some of the claims have been voluntarily withdrawn. Twenty former staff members of its Sichuan Mianzhu Norwest Phosphate Chemical Co unit had sought about 1.84 million yuan (S$358,600) in severance pay from the Chinese courts. Shares in AsiaPhos did not trade on Friday, but last closed at 0.8 Singapore cent.

DLF Holdings: The buyout offer for Catalist-listed group closed on Friday at 5.30pm, with valid acceptances amounting to 6.98 per cent of total issued shares received by the close. This brings the total number of shares acquired by offeror QRC Pte Ltd to approximately 64.13 per cent. The offeror has indicated that it intends to carry on DLF's existing business and maintain its listing status. DLF shares closed unchanged at S$0.185 on Friday.

Avarga: The group, formerly UPP Holdings, posted a net profit of S$7.7 million for the third quarter ended Sept 30. This was 2 per cent lower than the S$7.8 million net profit in Q3 FY2018. Revenue slipped 11 per cent to S$389.6 million. Earnings per share fell to 0.81 Singapore cent for Q3 FY2019 from 0.89 Singapore cent in Q3 FY2018. The counter closed at S$0.17 on Friday, down 0.1 Singapore cent or 0.6 per cent.

Synagie Corp: The Catalist-listed e-commerce solutions provider plans to raise up to S$3.84 million in a rights issue to fund its expansion in 2020, the board said late on Friday night. The renounceable non-underwritten rights issue of up to 39.7 million new shares, priced at S$0.10 apiece, will be done on the basis of three rights shares for every 20 ordinary shares at a books closure date that has yet to be determined. Synagie shares closed up by 0.3 Singapore cent, or 2.21 per cent, at S$0.139, before the news.

SK Group: The Catalist-listed jewellery seller on Friday reported a 57.9 per cent drop in net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30. Earnings shrank to S$459,000 from S$1.09 million on the back of lower revenue after SK Bullion ceased operations in May, combined with changes arising from the adoption of SFRS(I) 16. SK Jewellery shares closed unchanged at S$0.095 on Friday before the results were announced.

Amendment note: A previous version of this article incorrectly reported the reason for the group's net profit being due to higher earnings for its aerospace, electronics and marine sectors, when it is in fact higher revenue for all sectors, and rises in net profits for aerospace and others. The article has been amended to reflect this change.

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