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Stocks to watch: Olam, SGX, Keppel Corp, Keppel-KBS US Reit, Ascendas India Trust, FLT

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Singapore agri-business Olam International plans to sell off four business segments in the next six years to unlock some US$1.6 billion, according to a six-year strategic plan released by the company on Friday before the market opened.

THE following companies saw new developments that may affect trading of their shares on Friday:

Olam International: Singapore agri-business Olam International plans to sell off four business segments in the next six years to unlock some US$1.6 billion, according to a six-year strategic plan released by the company on Friday before the market opened. Meanwhile, Olam will invest US$3.5 billion (including US$1 billion in maintenance capex) in 12 business segments deemed attractive or proven, such as dairy, nuts, grains and animal feed. The counter closed at S$1.80 apiece on Thursday. 


Singapore Exchange (SGX): Bourse operator SGX posted a 9.2 per cent jump in Q2 net profit to S$96.5 million from S$88.4 million a year ago. Operating profit came in at S$113.7 million, up 10.4 per cent from S$103 million, while expenses rose 8.3 per cent to S$110.5 million mainly due to higher staff costs and professional fees. Revenue improved 9.3 per cent in the three months to December to S$224.16 million from S$205.05 million. Earnings per share for the period under review stood at nine Singapore cents versus 8.2 Singapore cents in the previous year’s corresponding quarter. SGX’s board declared an interim dividend of 7.5 Singapore cents per share, compared with five Singapore cents a year ago. The counter finished at S$7.50 on Thursday, up nine Singapore cents or 1.2 per cent.


Keppel Corporation: Keppel Corp posted S$135 million in its Q4 earnings, reversing a loss of S$492 million a year ago, which had included the S$619 million one-off financial penalty and related costs arising from Keppel Offshore & Marine (O&M)'s global resolution with criminal authorities over its corruption scandal. Excluding the one-off hefty financial penalty, the group's net profit for the quarter would have been 6 per cent higher year on year, underpinned by improved performance of the O&M division. Earnings per share was 7.4 Singapore cents, up from 6.9 Singapore cents in the fourth quarter of 2017. Mainboard-listed Keppel closed at S$6.13 on Thursday, adding two Singapore cents before the results were announced.

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Keppel-KBS US Reit: The Reit has declared a fourth-quarter distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.25 US cents, 16.7 per cent lower than the forecasted 1.50 US cents due to dilution from a recent rights issue. The rights issue partially funded the acquisition of the Westpark portfolio in Seattle in November. Excluding the effects of the acquisition and rights issue, fourth-quarter DPU would have been 1.51 US cents, in line with the real estate investment trust (Reit) manager's forecast. Keppel-KBS US Reit units jumped 3.5 Singapore cents or 5.43 per cent to close at S$0.68 on Thursday before results were released.


Ascendas India Trust: Higher interest income from investments, a rise in net property income and a one-off tax benefit lifted results for IT park owner Ascendas India Trust in its third quarter despite a depreciating Indian rupee. Distribution per unit for the quarter jumped from 1.64 Singapore cents in the previous year to 2.05 Singapore cents despite an enlarged unit base in the business trust due to a private placement exercise in February 2018 that saw 97.4 million new units issued. Net property income rose 4 per cent to S$33.9 million from the previous year. Ascendas India Trust units ended S$0.01 or 0.9 per cent up at S$1.08 on Thursday.


Frasers Logistics & Industrial Trust (FLT): FLT, which derives its income mainly from Australian industrial properties, posted on Thursday a 1.1 per cent fall in distribution per unit (DPU) for its fiscal first quarter, reflecting foreign exchange translation changes as the Australian dollar hit multi-year lows against the Singapore dollar in the quarter. The trust said DPU for the three months ended Dec 31, 2018, stood at 1.78 Singapore cents, down from 1.80 Singapore cents the same period a year ago, reflecting a foreign exchange hedge taken by the trust. Units of FLT closed on Thursday at S$1.08, up one Singapore cent.