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Stocks to watch: Singtel, Sembcorp, OUE, MCT, F&N, Fragrance, Sakae, Sheng Siong

Singtel posted its first quarterly loss on Thursday with a S$668 million net loss in the second quarter, against profit of S$667 million before, on its S$1.93 billion pre-tax share of Bharti Airtel's provision for the past dues.

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

Singtel: The telco posted its first quarterly loss on Thursday with a S$668 million net loss in the second quarter, against profit of S$667 million before, on its S$1.93 billion pre-tax share of Bharti Airtel's provision for the past dues. Excluding Airtel, net profit would have been up 4 per cent for the quarter ended Sept 30, according to results released after the market closed. Singtel shares closed at S$3.30 on Thursday, up 0.3 per cent or S$0.01.

Sembcorp Industries: The mainboard-listed conglomerate on Thursday posted a 13 per cent decline in net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30, as higher finance costs mainly arising from its marine and energy businesses took a toll on the bottomline. It recorded a net profit of S$71 million, lower than the S$82 million generated for the year-ago period. Earnings per share dipped 13 per cent to 3.47 Singapore cents, from 3.98 cents for the year-ago period. The counter closed at S$2.29 on Thursday, up one cent or 0.44 per cent.

OUE Limited: The property developer's third-quarter net profit surged to S$124.1 million, almost 60 times that of the S$2.1 million net profit for the year-ago period due to higher earnings before interest and taxes and a one-off non-cash gain of S$90.9 million arising from the merger of OUE Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust and OUE Hospitality Trust. For the quarter ended Sept 30, earnings per share was 13.77 Singapore cents versus 0.23 cent. OUE Limited shares closed unchanged at S$1.46 on Thursday.

Mapletree Commercial Trust (MCT): Some 205.6 million new units in MCT will be listed on the Singapore bourse at 9am on Friday, as a result of the trust's preferential offering. These new units will rank pari passu in all respects with the existing units in issue on Nov 14, the manager said. Earlier this week, MCT announced that it has raised S$460.5 million in gross proceeds from its preferential offering, which was 1.45 times subscribed. MCT units closed at S$2.28 on Thursday, up 1.3 per cent or three Singapore cents.

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Fraser and Neave (F&N): The consumer group on Thursday posted a 23.5 per cent increase in net profit to S$152.6 million for FY19, due to higher contributions from its beverages and dairies segments. The company's directors have proposed a final dividend of four cents per share. Together with the interim dividend of 1.5 cents per share paid in June 2019, the total dividend for this year amounted to 5.5 cents, an increase of one cent over the prior year. F&N shares ended at S$1.70 on Thursday, up one cent.

Fragrance Group: The property developer on Thursday night posted a net profit of S$98.4 million for the third quarter, 41 times the S$2.4 million profit in the year-ago period, largely thanks to fair value gain on an investment property. This was despite revenue tumbling 64.6 per cent for the quarter.  Shares of Fragrance were down 0.1 Singapore cent or 0.8 per cent to 12.6 cents at Thursday’s close, before the results were released.

Sakae Holdings: The sushi restaurant operator on Thursday night said its first-quarter net loss widened to S$831,000 from S$366,000 a year ago, as a result of the group streamlining its operations. Sakae, which is on the Singapore Exchange's watch list, saw its loss per share rise to 0.60 Singapore cent for the quarter from 0.35 cent a year ago. Sakae shares last closed on Wednesday at 8.2 Singapore cents.

Sheng Siong: The group will buy a commercial property at Block 118 Aljunied Avenue 2 from Jelita Property for S$29.5 million. The property, which will operate as a supermarket, comprises units in the first and second storeys of a seven-storey Housing and Development Board commercial property with a four-storey public carpark. It has a gross floor area of about 2,717 square metres, with a leasehold tenure of 86 years commencing from July 1, 1993. Sheng Shiong shares closed unchanged at S$1.21 on Thursday.

UOB Kay Hian: The brokerage on Thursday posted a 14.7 per cent increase in net profit to S$20.3 million for its third quarter ended Sept 30, as higher trading volume and retail participation across its main regional markets boosted turnover. Total revenue rose 12.4 per cent to S$93.7 million, but after including foreign exchange gain, total income was essentially 14.2 per cent higher year-on-year at S$97.5 million. The counter closed flat at S$1.22 on Thursday. 

The Straits Trading Company: The group on Thursday posted a 13.2 per cent drop in net profit to S$12.2 million for its third quarter ended Sept 30, due to a halving in earnings from its real estate segment, despite a more profitable resources division. The lower contribution for the group's real estate segment, from S$14 million a year ago to S$6.9 million in the latest reporting period, was mainly due to lower interest income from the notes issued by a joint venture, its said. The counter closed at S$2.16 on Thursday, up two Singapore cents or 0.9 per cent. 

Hong Leong Asia: The group on Thursday announced third-quarter net profit rose 9.2 per cent to S$3.4 million, even as gross profit declined, as lower profit was attributed to non-controlling interests. Without accounting for a loss from discontinued operations, net of tax, the industrial conglomerate's net profit would have been 22.3 per cent higher. The counter closed at S$0.640 on Thursday, down 1.5 Singapore cents or 2.3 per cent. 

UnUsUaL Limited: The concert promoter's earnings improved for the second quarter, jumping 54.8 per cent year-on-year to S$5 million, on stronger promotion and production revenue. Revenue was up 57.5 per cent on year at S$29.6 million, led by higher contributions from its promotion segment. This outpaced cost of sales, which also rose 67.3 per cent to S$20.9 million. UnUsUaL shares closed at S$0.30 on Thursday, down 0.5 Singapore cent or 1.6 per cent. 

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