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Stocks to watch: SIA, Ascendas Reit, Keppel, Sabana Reit, ESR-Reit, OCBC, SPH

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

Singapore Airlines (SIA): Less than 24 hours before the scheduled, much-anticipated launch of the travel bubble on Nov 22, both Singapore and Hong Kong decided to defer it due to a recent spike in novel coronavirus cases in the Chinese city. A flight each from SIA and Cathay Pacific were originally planned to take off at 10am, carrying a maximum of 200 passengers per way. The Business Times (BT) wrote on Monday that this is a wise move that will inspire trust and confidence in the bilateral quarantine-free travel arrangement between the two Asian hubs. SIA shares closed at S$4.09 on Friday, up S$0.03 or 0.7 per cent.

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH): Shares in the media and property group hit an intraday high of S$1.28 on Friday, up 22 per cent or S$0.23, as restructuring rumours swirled. The stock ended at S$1.25 on a cum-dividend basis, a jump of 19.1 per cent or S$0.20 on the day.

Keppel Corp: The conglomerate on Monday announced a slew of leadership changes at a few of its key business units, as part of the group's succession planning, to take effect from Feb 15 next year. Shares of Keppel Corp rose S$0.08 or 1.6 per cent to finish Friday at S$5.15.

OCBC: Investors will have easier access to Hong Kong-listed technology stocks next month, as OCBC works towards the listing of a tech-focused exchange-traded fund (ETF) on the Singapore Exchange. The Lion-OCBC Securities Hang Seng Tech ETF will track the Hang Seng Tech Index. OCBC shares closed at S$9.96 on Friday, up S$0.17 or 1.7 per cent.

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Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (Ascendas Reit): It has completed its US$560.2 million acquisition of two office properties located in San Francisco in the US, the manager said on Saturday. Separately, the manager is launching the Reit's preferential offering on Monday. The counter closed at S$3 on Friday, up 1 per cent or S$0.03.

Sabana Shari'ah Compliant Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust (Sabana Reit), ESR-Reit: The proposed merger of ESR-Reit and Sabana Reit is "the only offer that is currently on the table", the Reit manager's board said on Friday evening, responding to fund managers Quarz Capital and Black Crane Capital's call to unitholders to reject the deal and internalise the Reit's management. Separately, BT wrote on Monday that Sabana Reit has tried to counter criticism of the deal, to the point of downplaying its standalone potential and alienating its unitholders. Sabana Reit units closed unchanged at S$0.35 on Friday, while ESR-Reit units closed at 38.5 Singapore cents, down 0.5 cent or 1.3 per cent.

Singapore Exchange (SGX): The Singapore bourse is seeking the market's views on the process of managing outstanding securities transactions when a clearing member is in default. Separately, SGX on Monday launches five new regional and single-country futures contracts based on net total return and price return indices calculated by FTSE Russell. SGX shares closed at S$9.13 on Friday, up S$0.05 or 0.6 per cent.

City Developments Limited (CDL): Two new non-executive, independent directors have been appointed to the board of CDL with effect from Nov 20. Shares of the developer closed at S$7.75 on Friday, up S$0.17 or 2.2 per cent, before this announcement.

Isetan (Singapore): The Japanese department store operator expects the ongoing pandemic to have a negative impact on its financial performance, with no material recovery expected this year, given that the retail environment remains "very challenging". Isetan shares closed unchanged at S$2.85 on Friday before the business update.

Jiutian Chemical: The Catalist-listed group recently became the world's second-largest dimethylformamide producer, after a competitor exited the business. The economics of its chemicals production business have also improved, and the company expects this situation may continue for some time, executive director Lee Chee Seng told BT. The counter closed at 9.2 Singapore cents on Friday, up 0.2 cent or 2.2 per cent.

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