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Stocks to watch: ESR-Reit, Willas-Array, United Food, Ley Choon, China Star Food

THE following companies saw new developments that may affect trading of their shares on Thursday:

ESR-Reit: The trustee of ESR-Reit is borrowing S$150 million in two unsecured loans from CIMB Bank Berhad, Singapore branch, said the trust manager late on Wednesday night in an exchange filing. RBC Investor Services trust Singapore, as trustee of the mainboard-listed real estate investment trust (Reit), entered into a S$150 million unsecured loan facility agreement with the lender on May 29. The facility consists of a S$100 million unsecured term loan due 60 months from May 29, and a S$50 million unsecured revolving loan due 36 months from May 29. ESR-Reit will use the loans to refinance existing debts, and to fund further asset acquisitions, enhancements and improvement of assets owned by ESR-Reit and its subsidiaries "for the time being", the manager said. Units of ESR-Reit closed down 0.5 Singapore cent or 0.926 per cent at 53.5 cents on Wednesday.

Willas-Array Electronics Holdings: Willas-Array reported a loss attributable to owners of HK$18.96 million (S$3.34 million) for the year ended March 31, compared to a profit of HK$111.96 million the year before, in its results release on Wednesday. Loss per share for the year was 22.36 Hong Kong cents. This came as revenue fell 19.1 per cent to HK$3.69 billion from HK$4.56 billion the year before. The Hong Kong-based distributor of electronics components noted that its results came against a backdrop of increasing trade tensions between the United States and China, which had hit global business and consumer sentiment. But the company is recommending a final dividend of 20 Hong Kong cents per ordinary share. Willas-Array shares closed unchanged at S$0.53 on Wednesday before the results.

United Food Holdings: Mainboard-listed United Food saw loss attributable to owners widen to 27.6 million yuan (S$5.5 million) for the three months ended March 31, from a loss of 13.44 million yuan for the year-ago period, the firm said in its results release on Wednesday. Loss per share for the quarter was 0.17 yuan, widening from 0.09 yuan previously. No dividend was declared. This was despite revenue rising to 10 million yuan, more than 3.5 times the 2.82 million yuan figure for the year-ago period. The revenue was mainly from the group's trading segment. The firm is also a producer and supplier of soya bean products and animal feed in China. United Food closed unchanged at 11 Singapore cents on Wednesday, before the results release.

Ley Choon Group Holdings: The Catalist-listed construction firm on Wednesday posted a loss attributable to owners of S$5.84 million for the fourth quarter ended March 31, compared to a profit of S$162,000 for the year-ago period. This was despite revenue edging up 2.8 per cent to S$27.9 million. Loss per share for the fourth quarter was 0.49 Singapore cent, compared to earnings per share of 0.01 Singapore cent for the year-ago period. No dividend was declared. Full-year loss was S$9.6 million, down from a S$1.5 million profit attributable to owners for the previous year. 

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China Star Food Group: Catalist-listed snack maker China Star Food saw profit net of tax of 33.4 million yuan (S$6.7 million) for the year ended March 31, more than 2.5 times the previous year's net profit of 12.5 million yuan, it said in a results release on Wednesday. Earnings per share was 11.26 fen, up from 4.86 fen the previous year. This was on the back of revenue rising 61.3 per cent to 357 million yuan from 221.3 million yuan previously. China Star said this was due to increased sales of candies and crisps. No dividend was declared. The counter's shares closed unchanged at two Singapore cents on Wednesday before the results release.

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