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Stocks to watch: Noble, Boustead Projects, Cosco, Super Group

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THE following companies made announcements on Tuesday or Wednesday morning which could affect their trading.

Shares in embattled Noble Group gave up gains made earlier in the day on Tuesday after it released the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report on its fair-value accounting practice, closing at 57 Singapore cents on Tuesday, or 1.7 per cent below last Thursday's close. Shares in the commodities group jumped as much as 11 per cent in early Tuesday trading but later reversed gains as the market reacted to concerns over the bearish commodities outlook. The group bought back 12.29 million of its own shares on Aug 11, a day after it released the PwC report. It paid 56 Singapore cents a share, or S$7.02 million in total.

Real estate solutions specialist Boustead Projects reported a 19 per cent drop in its net profit for the first quarter ended June 30, 2015, to S$4.8 million due to higher finance expenses, foreign-exchange losses and weaker margins. Boustead Projects is the real estate arm of Boustead Singapore. After adjusting for unrealised currency-exchange losses, quarterly net profit came in 7 per cent lower than the corresponding quarter a year ago. Revenue was flat at S$56.6 million. Boustead Projects said it expects the difficult industrial real-estate market conditions of the past three years to persist in the current financial year and impact future gross margins.

Cosco Corp called a trading suspension on Tuesday morning, citing a plan by parent company China Ocean Shipping Group on a significant transaction. The South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday that Beijing is seeking to complete a merger between China Ocean Shipping Group and China Shipping Group - two of the country's largest state-owned shipping companies - around 2017 in response to a slump in the industry. Together, the two groups control 11 listed entities in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Super Group reported a 30 per cent drop in net profit to S$10.5 million for its second quarter ended June 30, 2015, as revenue fell 5 per cent to S$125.5 million. The instant food and beverage brand owner and manufacturer said the lower revenue was due to lower sales from both its branded consumer and food ingredients segments. It expects market conditions to stay competitive in the next 12 months.

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