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Stocks to watch: Rex, Aspial, Ascott Reit, Parkson Retail Asia, Thakral

The Ascott Huai Hai Road, a 278-unit serviced apartment development in Shanghai, China.

REX International: The oil exploration and production firm said on Thursday it is reducing capital investments and focusing on key discovery assets in Oman and Norway to preserve cash due to the downturn in oil prices.

It is also making organisational changes to boost its management bench strength, especially in the area of geology and geophysics, as well as to reduce operating costs.

Aspial Corporation: The jeweller-cum-property developer and investor said on Thursday it has decided to re-allocate S$25 million in bonds offered to the public to its placement to institutional and other investors. As a result, S$50 million is now offered under the placement and S$25 million to the public.

Aspial had on Tuesday announced an offering comprising a public tranche of up to S$50 million to the Singapore public and a placement tranche of up to S$25 million to institutional and other investors outside the United States. These are five-year bonds due in 2020, which come with fixed interest of 5.25 per cent per annum.

The reason for the re-allocation is that the valid applications for its bond placement have exceeded S$25 million. It is about three times subscribed and was officially closed at 7.30pm on Wednesday.

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Ascott Residence Trust: The serviced apartment real estate investment trust (Reit) said on Thursday it has completed the acquisition of Element New York Times Square West, a hotel between the 8th and 9th Avenue of New York, as well as the leasehold interest in the land of the hotel property, which expires in 2112.

Parkson Retail Asia: The department store operator on Thursday posted a net loss of S$59.8 million for its fourth quarter ended June 30, 2015, compared to net profit of S$3 million a year ago.

This is due to the incurrence of non-recurring items related to contingent expenses for the closure of a store in Hanoi and impairment of financial assets in Vietnam, as well as the initial loss-making periods of new stores in their first year of operations, it said.

Gross sales proceeds fell 14 per cent to S$211.4 million. It recommended a final dividend of two cents per share. Including the special interim dividend of 4 cents per share paid on Jan 7, 2015, the total dividend for FY2015 is six cents per share.

Thakral Corporation: The investment company on Wednesday said it has established a programme with investment management group Aberdeen Asset Management Asia to buy Australian real estate projects.

The programme will focus on projects on the East Coast, particularly in the central business districts and developed suburbs of Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

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