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Stocks to watch: DBS, Venture Corp, Great Eastern, Manulife US Reit, Chip Eng Seng, Pacc Offshore Services


THE following companies saw new developments that could affect trading of their shares on Monday:

DBS Group Holdings: The banking stalwart on Monday reported that third-quarter net profit rose 76 per cent to S$1.41 billion, compared to the previous quarter, when accelerated allowances had been taken for weak oil and gas support service exposures. Indeed, allowances for credits and other losses also fell 71 per cent to S$236 million, from S$815 million a year ago.

Venture Corporation: The electronics manufacturing services provider on Friday posted a net profit of S$80.8 million for the third quarter ended Sept 30, down 27.5 per cent from a year ago, missing street estimates. Revenue fell 27.4 per cent to S$770.4 million, mainly attributable to the impact arising from customers' planned transition to new replacement products and some customers' merger and acquisition (M&A) activities for the reported quarter.

Great Eastern Holdings: Great Eastern Holdings (GEH) on Monday said that it is in discussions with the Malaysian authorities on possible options to enable its unit, Great Eastern Life Assurance (Malaysia) Berhad (GELM), to satisfy prevailing foreign ownership requirements applicable to insurance companies in Malaysia. Such options include GELM making a certain contribution to a special insurance development trust fund which may take the form of a B40 Health Protection Fund. This stands in contrast to Malaysian news reports that on Saturday cited Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng as saying in his Budget 2019 speech that Great Eastern Life Insurance has already agreed to contribute the initial seed funding of RM2 billion (S$658 million) to this fund, which will be managed by Bank Negara Malaysia.

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Manulife US Reit: The Reit reported on Monday morning that its distribution per unit (DPU) for its fiscal third quarter expanded 33.6 per cent to 1.51 US cents from 1.13 US cents in the preceding year. That came as Q3 income available for distribution leapt 64.9 per cent to US$19.3 million from US$11.7 million in the year-ago period.

Chip Eng Seng Corporation: The construction and property group's third-quarter net profit rose about 8 per cent year on year to S$14.28 million, the company announced on Friday. Revenue for the quarter jumped some 50 per cent to S$320.1 million, thanks to its property developments and hospitality businesses.

PACC Offshore Services Holdings (POSH): POSH on Friday posted a net loss of US$5.3 million for the third quarter ended Sept 30, narrowing 8 per cent from its loss of US$5.8 million a year ago. This comes on the back of the group's share of results from joint ventures, which recorded a loss of US$0.8 million, compared to a profit of US$16 million for Q3 FY2017.

Challenger Technologies: The IT products and services provider on Friday posted a net profit of S$4.5 million for the third quarter ended Sept 30, up 44 per cent from a year ago, on the back of improved trade show and corporate sales performance, as well as lower operating expenses from cost-control efforts.

Sunpower Group and Geo Energy Resources requested trading halts before the market opened on Monday.