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Stocks to watch: Perennial, LionGold, Soo Kee, Noble, offshore & marine companies


PERENNIAL Real Estate Holdings: The property developer said on Friday it is venturing into the African continent through a joint venture with Shangri-La Asia to develop a 49,874-square-metre site in Ghana.

It will buy a 55 per cent stake in the site from Shangri-La for US$15.2 million. The site, which is in the airport district of Ghana's capital and largest city Accra, will be developed into a prime integrated mixed-use development.

The total cost of the development, including the land, is estimated to be more than US$250 million. The development, expected to be completed in 2019, will comprise a hotel, residential towers, an office tower, a shopping mall and serviced apartments.

LionGold: The gold miner said on Friday its independent auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), have issued a disclaimer of opinion for the company's FY2014/2015 financial statements.

PwC said it was supposed to express an opinion on the financial statements after conducting its audit, but could not get enough appropriate audit evidence to provide a basis for an audit opinion.

Nor could it ascertain the ability of the group to continue as going concerns, given "material uncertainties" such as the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) probe in April 2014. CAD has not provided details of its investigation.

Soo Kee Group: The retail jeweller fell 5.5 Singapore cents or 18 per cent to close at S$0.245 on its first trading day on Thursday on Singapore Exchange's Catalist board. Its initial public offering price was S$0.30.

Some attributed it to unfortunate timing, saying it started trading on a poor-sentiment day when most of the Straits Times Index constituents finished in the red. Others found the stock too expensive.

Noble Group: Credit-rating agency Fitch said on Thursday it believes commodity trader Noble Group can generate positive cash flow from operations in the second half of this year. The increased working capital that the group incurred in the second quarter will support its business operations going forward and allow it to generate cash flow from operations, it said.

Beyond the immediate future, however, if the trend of using debt to fund business expansion continues, and Noble's cash flow from operations remains negative on a "sustained basis", Fitch's negative rating sensitivities could be breached, the rating agency warned.

Offshore and marine stocks: Those listed on the Singapore bourse were mauled on Thursday after a further slide in Brent crude prices prompted yet another bout of pessimism over their prospects, with several counters falling to multi-year lows.

The broad selloff hammered some large caps, with the world's No 2 rigbuilder Sembcorp Marine diving to a six-year low and rival Keppel Corp slipping to its lowest point since 2011. The biggest loser was Ezra Holdings' listed fabrication arm Triyards, which tumbled to its lowest price since its listing three years ago.

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