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Stocks to watch: Noble, Keppel, Far East Orchard

THESE stocks had announcements or developments that may influence trading in Thursday's shortened session.

Noble Group: The beleaguered commodities trader's shares and bonds took yet another beating on Wednesday as the firm got downgraded to junk status by credit rating agency Moody's. Noble, in its usual defiant stance when faced with critical assessments, blamed the decision on Moody's' inability to differentiate between upstream producers and asset-light traders.

Keppel Corp: The Keppel group has got full ownership of Keppel Bay Tower via a share swap with Mapletree Investments, the conglomerate said on Wednesday. The group bought the remaining 30 per cent stake in Harbourfront One, which holds Keppel Bay Tower, from Mapletree for S$180.9 million. Keppel also sold to Mapletree its 39 per cent stake in Harbourfront Two Pte Ltd, which holds Harbourfront Towers 1 and 2, for S$225.7 million.

Far East Orchard: The property firm has agreed to buy a freehold development site in Brighton, East Sussex in the United Kingdom, for about £5.35 million (S$11.2 million), it said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Wednesday. It said it intends to develop the 1,616 sq m land site into purpose-built student accommodation and the development is estimated to be completed by the end of 2018.

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