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Stocks to watch: MCT, CapitaLand, Keppel Reit, Soilbuild Reit, Qian Hu, AA Reit

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

Mapletree Commercial Trust (MCT): The real estate investment trust said on Thursday that it will raise gross proceeds of S$918.5 million from its equity fundraising exercise, comprising S$458 million from an overnight placement and S$460.5 million from a preferential offering. The bulk of the proceeds will partially fund its S$1.55 billion acquisition of Mapletree Business City (Phase 2). MCT’s manager on Thursday morning requested its trading halt be lifted. Units of MCT last traded at S$2.34 on Tuesday.

CapitaLand: The real estate behemoth is eyeing a greater presence in China following its merger with Ascendas-Singbridge, group chief executive Lee Chee Koon said in an interview with The Business Times. Another engine for growth for the group is fund management, Mr Lee said. Shares of CapitaLand closed up two cents or 0.57 per cent to S$3.56 on Wednesday.

Keppel Reit: Higher rentals from Ocean Financial Centre and 275 George Street, a full quarter of income contribution from T Tower in Seoul, as well as its unit buyback programme, lent a boost to Keppel Reit's third quarter ended Sept 30. Its distribution per unit (DPU) rose 2.9 per cent to 1.4 Singapore cents, up from 1.36 cents a year ago. The counter ended flat at S$1.24 on Wednesday.

Soilbuild Business Space Reit: Its third-quarter DPU shrank 26.3 per cent to 0.918 Singapore cent, from 1.245 cents a year ago. The decline was due mainly to the enlarged unit base after the industrial Reit's recent preferential offering, as well as the cessation of revenue recognition from tenant NK Ingredients, which defaulted on its lease in July. Its units closed down half a cent or 0.94 per cent to S$0.53 on Wednesday before the results were announced.

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Qian Hu: The mainboard-listed integrated fish service provider’s net profit for the third quarter surged 72 per cent to S$301,000 on the back of improved margins from the aquaculture business. This was achieved despite a 10.2 per cent drop in revenue amid poorer sales in the group's core fish and accessories business segments. The counter closed flat at S$0.128 on Wednesday before the results were out.

AIMS Apac Reit (AA Reit): Units of the industrial real estate investment trust dived to an eight-month low at Wednesday’s close, after the completion of its sponsor's bookbuilding process and secondary placement which raised S$94.9 million. AA Reit ended the day at S$1.37, down 11 cents or 7.43 per cent. This is its lowest price since Feb 13.

Rex International: The Catalist-listed oilfield services firm’s shares soared on Wednesday after the company announced two Norwegian Sea wells, in which Rex's subsidiary has a 30 per cent stake, contain oil and gas following exploration and appraisal drilling. The counter climbed 1.2 Singapore cents, or 15.2 per cent, to close at 9.1 cents on Wednesday.

Ellipsiz: The mainboard-listed company has expanded its foothold in the semiconductor and electronics industry by acquiring a 51 per cent stake in local engineering solutions firm AXIS-TEC for S$3.6 million, it said on Wednesday. Ellipsiz shares fell 1.5 Singapore cents or 3.61 per cent to S$0.40 on Wednesday before the acquisition was announced.

Sunpower Group: The mainboard-listed company has secured manufacturing and services contracts worth 71.7 million yuan (S$13.9 million) from its strategic partner Wanhua Chemical Group. Delivery of the products is expected to be completed in 2019 and will have a positive impact on the group's financial results. Sunpower shares closed up 0.5 Singapore cent or 1 per cent to 48.5 cents on Wednesday before the announcement.

BlackGold Natural Resources: The Catalist-listed coal mining firm’s chairman and chief executive Philip Cecil Rickard is resigning in light of changes to the group's business strategy and direction, it said on Wednesday after trading hours. Andreas Rinaldi has been appointed CEO-designate with effect from Wednesday. Shares of BlackGold ended flat at S$0.01 on Wednesday.

Asiaphos: The Catalist-listed phosphate miner said on Wednesday that 12 out of 20 former employees of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Sichuan Mianzhu Norwest Phosphate Chemical, are appealing a Chinese court’s decision to dismiss their claims for severance pay amounting to 1.844 million yuan (S$357,347). The counter was flat at 0.8 Singapore cent at Wednesday’s close.

Zico Holdings: Its indirect subsidiary Zico Trust has been granted a capital markets services licence by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to conduct the regulated activity of providing custodial services. Separately, Zico Holdings on Wednesday evening also responded to queries issued by the Singapore Exchange regarding its proposed sale of two corporate services subsidiaries. Its shares last traded at 13.3 Singapore cents on Oct 14.

Sakae Holdings: The sushi chain operator on Thursday morning requested a trading halt, after announcing that its non-executive independent director Foo Maw Shen has resigned. Mr Foo, 52, is quitting due to differing views over the follow-up action to the independent auditors’ disclaimer in Sakae's audited financial results for the year ended June 30. He also resigned as chairman of the nominating committee and a member of the audit committee with effect on Wednesday. His resignation leaves Sakae with two independent directors, one short of a minimum requirement of three. Watch-listed Sakae's shares closed unchanged at S$0.09 on Wednesday.

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