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Stocks to watch: GLP, Petra, Auric Pacific, China New Town


THE following stocks had announcements that could affect trading activity on Thursday:

Global Logistic Properties (GLP) said it has not entered into any binding contracts, after reports that it was in early talks to buy more than 200 warehouses in the United States valued at about US$4.5 billion.

News reports have said that initial negotiations with the warehouses' owner, Industrial Income Trust Inc, may not lead to a deal.

GLP first moved into the US industrial market in February after teaming up with Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC to buy Blackstone Group's IndCor Properties Inc for US$8.1 billion. GLP shares last traded at S$2.69 on Wednesday.

Chocolate maker Petra Foods Limited will sell its loss-making Singapore distribution business to Auric Pacific Group by the end of this month, the two parties announced on Wednesday. Specific deal terms were not disclosed. Auric Pacific Marketing (APM), a unit of Auric Pacific Group, will acquire the existing brand agencies portfolio of Delfi Singapore, Petra Foods' wholly-owned subsidiary. Apart from the transfer of its contracts with agency brands to APM, Delfi has also agreed to sell APM inventory related to these brands before June 30.

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Petra Foods said that Delfi Singapore's distribution has not been profitable for many years due to its relatively small scale.

Petra Foods' shares closed at S$3.46 on Wednesday while Auric Pacific's shares last traded at S$0.80 before the announcement.

Shares of China New Town Development Company (CNTD) dived in heavy trading in Singapore and Hong Kong on Wednesday following news that executive director and substantial shareholder Shi Jian is under custody in China.

No reason or timing of the custody was mentioned in CNTD's announcement, leaving traders wondering whether Mr Shi was already under custody when CNTD's share price was surging last month. Despite assurances that the measures imposed on Mr Shi are not expected to have material adverse impact on the group, the group's shares primarily listed in Singapore and Hong Kong tanked after the trading halt since June 5 was lifted in both markets on Wednesday.

CNTD shares in Singapore fell 10.1 per cent to S$0.08 on Wednesday; in Hong Kong, CNTD shares fell 13.5 per cent to HK$0.45.

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