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Stocks to watch: Sembcorp, S-Reits, Ascendas Reit,, SHS Holdings

Sembcorp’s new co-generation plant on Jurong Island.

Sembcorp Industries: The group on Monday said its subsidiary Sembcorp Environment has agreed to divest its 40 per cent stake in SembSita Pacific to 60 per cent joint venture partner Suez Environnement Asia for A$485 million (S$488 million). This will be settled in cash.

Separately, on Friday, Sembcorp also said it has tied up with the Singapore Economic Development Board to be the country's first industrial "living laboratory". This means Sembcorp will grant technology providers access to its proprietary wastewater-treatment and waste-to-energy facilities on Jurong Island for late-stage test-bedding and co-innovation of water and environmental technologies.

Singapore real estate investment trusts (S-Reits): The FTSE ST Reits Index rose as much as 2.5 per cent on Friday, before ending at 694.15, up 0.5 per cent. This outdid the Straits Times Index, which fell 0.6 per cent to 2,879.59. This came after the US Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged.

Reits are rate-sensitive vehicles whose prices tend to move inversely to interest rates, but analysts advised investors against getting carried away, and remained doubtful that the near-term liquidity rush into the sector will revive its index back to the over-770 level that it was at in late July.

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Ascendas Reit: Making its foray into Australia, Ascendas Reit on Friday said it is snapping up a portfolio of 26 logistics properties at one go for A$1.01 billion (S$1.02 billion) - a move that will turn the Reit into the eighth-largest industrial landlord there.

The combined portfolio is said to be about 90 per cent owned by the real estate arm of GIC and some 10 per cent owned by Frasers Property Australia (the former Australand). These freehold properties are mainly located in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and one is in Perth. Holdings: The company announced on Friday that Shenzhen-listed ZhongHong Holdings intends to make a cash bid for the firm at 30 Singapore cents a share in a deal worth S$93 million.

The news sent the stock soaring 22 per cent or five cents to 28 Singapore cents when it resumed trading on Friday afternoon. The counter finished 3.5 Singapore cents or 15 per cent up at 26.5 Singapore cents, a near 11-month high, with fired-up trading volumes of 7.4 million shares versus its daily average of 640,000 shares over the year.

SHS Holdings: The engineering and corrosion prevention services group on Friday said it was proposing to sell off its biggest business segment. It has inked a deal to sell its refined petroleum distribution arm for S$100.3 million in cash to German chemicals distributor Brenntag.

SHS estimated the net proceeds from the sale to be around S$98.9 million, which it said it would use for working capital, general corporate purposes, and reducing the group's external borrowings.