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Stocks to watch: SPH Reit, HC Surgical, Aspen, GL, GKE Corp, Keppel DC Reit

THE following companies saw new developments that may affect trading of their securities on Thursday.

SPH Reit: Its manager on Wednesday declared a first-quarter distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.2 Singapore cents, down from 1.38 cents for the year-ago period. The lower DPU, down by 13 per cent year on year, was "in line with the gradual Covid-19 recovery in both Singapore and Australia", said SPH Reit's manager in an interim business update on Wednesday. Units closed at 83.5 Singapore cents, lower by one cent or 1.2 per cent, before the results.

HC Surgical Specialists: The medical services group more than doubled its earnings for the first half-year, buoyed by a fair-value gain, its unaudited results indicated on Wednesday. HC Surgical Specialists' board has recommended an interim dividend of 1.7 Singapore cents a share, up from 1.3 Singapore cents before. The counter closed at S$0.35, lower by S$0.01 or 2.8 per cent, before the results were released.

Aspen Holdings: The group's newly-established glovemaking venture has agreed to produce US$100 million worth of medical grade examination gloves for an unnamed third-party distributor. After calling for a trading halt on Wednesday morning, the group said it signed a sales and distribution agreement for the offtake of the entire 2021 production of its subsidiary, Aspen Glove. This amounts to an estimated one billion pieces of nitrile or natural rubber medical grade examination gloves to be produced from May 1 to Dec 31, 2021. Aspen closed on Wednesday 1.5 Singapore cents or 6.3 per cent higher at 25.5 cents after the halt was lifted.

GL: Formerly known as GuocoLeisure, the mainboard-listed hotel operator sank into the red for its first half-year as the Covid-19 pandemic hit its British portfolio. Unaudited results on Wednesday showed it posted a net loss of US$19.8 million for the six months to Dec 31, 2020, against a profit of US$26.9 million previously. Its shares added S$0.01 or 1.82 per cent to S$0.56, before the results came out.

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GKE Corporation:  Unaudited results on Wednesday showed its first-half net profit has more than trebled on the back of a concrete production ramp-up. The logistics provider's earnings rose to S$6.52 million for the six months to Nov 30, 2020, up from S$1.81 million before. This comes as its plant in China churned out more ready-mixed concrete at higher average selling prices, GKE said. GKE Corp shares closed at 13.5 Singapore cents, down by 0.4 cent or 2.9 per cent, before the results were announced.

Keppel DC Reit: The limit of Keppel DC Reit's multicurrency medium term note programme has been raised to S$2 billion from S$500 million, its manager said in a bourse filing on Thursday. Perps have also been added as a security which may be issued under the programme by the data centre focused real estate investment trust. Keppel DC Reit units closed flat at S$2.76 on Wednesday.

Ascott Residence Trust (ART): The hospitality trust on Thursday said it obtained a five-year S$50 million green loan from DBS to finance its maiden development project and co-living property, lyf one-north, which attained green certification in 2020. Stapled securities of ART ended Wednesday at S$1.10, up 1.9 per cent or S$0.02.

Singapore Airlines (SIA): Singapore's national flag carrier launched its first US dollar bond on Wednesday to help fund the purchase of new aircraft, according to a term sheet seen by Reuters. Citing a source with direct knowledge of the matter, the size of the deal has yet to be officially set but is expected to be a "benchmark" transaction, which means it should raise at least US$300 million. SIA shares closed on Wednesday up S$0.11 or 2.6 per cent at S$4.35.

Singapore Exchange (SGX): Herry Cho has been appointed as the bourse's managing director, head of sustainability and sustainable finance. The position is newly created as part of the company's efforts to expand its sustainability efforts, said SGX on Wednesday. Ms Cho will assume the role from Feb 8 to drive the strategic direction of the bourse's environmental, social and governance ambitions, as well as broaden and deepen its sustainable finance pillars. SGX shares closed on Wednesday up S$0.03 or 0.3 per cent at S$10.02, after the announcement.

Trading halts: BRC Asia called for a trading halt on Thursday morning, pending the release of an announcement. The mainboard-listed steel dealer closed on Wednesday down S$0.01 or 0.6 per cent at S$1.55.

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