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Stocks to watch: OCBC, F&N, Ezion, ASL Marine


THE following companies made material announcements after the market closed on Monday:

OCBC Bank: It posted on Tuesday morning a 14 per cent rise in its first-quarter 2017 net profit to S$973 million, compared to S$856 million a year ago.

It attributed the strong performance to the sustained growth in wealth management income, higher profit from insurance operations as well as increased earnings in local currency terms from all of the group's overseas banking subsidiaries, particularly from Indonesia. Overall non-performing loans ratio was 1.3 per cent, unchanged from the previous quarter.

Fraser & Neave (F&N): The company on Monday night reported a 67.1 per cent plunge in its second-quarter net profit to S$3.8 million from the previous year. For the three months ended March 31, revenue dropped 5.8 per cent to S$451.3 million from the year-ago period amid "weak consumer sentiment and the absence of contribution from Chinese New Year sales due to the earlier sell-in booked in the first quarter of 2017".

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Two offshore-related companies warned of losses for their upcoming quarterly report.

Ezion Holdings: The offshore services group said on Monday that the depreciation of the US dollar in the first quarter ended March 31 had led to a "material foreign exchange loss" on the group's unsecured financial liabilities denominated in Singapore dollars, causing the group to make a net loss for Q1.

ASL Marine: The shipbuilder and vessel charterer said it expects to report a net loss for the third quarter of fiscal 2017, based on a preliminary review of its unaudited financial statements for the quarter and nine months ended March 31.

The firm explained that the net loss was due to a lower operational profit, increased administrative expenses, unrealised foreign-exchange losses and higher share of losses from its joint-venture and associated companies. The increased administrative expenses mainly stemmed from transaction costs relating to the consent solicitation exercise concluded in January this year with noteholders on its proposed debt restructuring.